Her Reading Room – Flash Fiction

LQ4d15U-9780She had a reading room all her own, filled with books she collected over the years. Dusty old tombs from the library book sales. Discarded books that she wanted to give a home to. Unloved books that needed the warmth of a loving soul that would give them new life.

She had new books. Crisp pages and unmarked paper. Stiff spines and smelling of glue and wood pulp.  The old books smelled of time and dust and people. The new held the smell of adventure.

She had picture books and encyclopedias. Fiction, non fiction, how to books. She had books on gardening and sewing. Books on Asian culture and mythology; Greek and Nordic mythology. Fairytales ruled a top shelf that was colorful and arranged like a child would.

Some of her shelves held neat rows of books from a series, while others were arranged by her favorites. One shelf was devoted to books she had plans to read. That shelf was getting more and more full as time went on and she visited more book sales. This book thing was an affliction in some ways.

She had her big open windows to let the gorgeous sun in with a comfortable chairs set so that whatever her mood, the light was just right for reading. The shelves themselves were big and filled one whole wall. In the back corner she had her writing desk and a big bulletin board she frequently had filled with thumbtacked pages of some idea she was writing. The cork board was always cluttered with notes and ideas.  However having the books around her and the dark corner, made writing so much more simple since she couldn’t get distracted.

An up to date sound system, with speakers that were tucked away, filled the room with music from Debussy to One Republic. It all depended on the mood. Sometimes you need a bit of pop music to read by.

And since there was nothing like having tea or coffee while reading, she always kept an electric kettle filled on a small table with cups and tea and instant coffee. Granted, most of the time her drink of choice was cold by the time she actually finished it. When one met the man of their dreams on page 150, tea became unimportant.

Yes, this room was magical, opening worlds she could only dream, or read, about visiting. Her room became the 10351141_814052365327874_232371573355012167_nTardis.

 

Okay, I was inspired by the image of the personal library, to write a bit of flash fiction about it. And as for the last line, I saw this marvelous picture and it has stuck with me. I get shivers looking at this picture.

Enjoy my rambles, dearies.

Kate

 

The Castle Logoria – Part One

The inn was old, but charming as the carriage drew up to the lit yard. However, this was no normal inn as it was situated high up the road from the prospering village and at the base of a large, abandoned castle. A castle that was sturdy, but clearly starting to decay and crumble. It was as if the inn had not idea there was something majestic behind it.

The coachman stepped down from the box and opened the carriage door just as the innkeeper, Henri, opened his welcoming doors, sending out more light from the cheery interior. He was the first person Aline saw as the coachman helped her down.

“Welcome, welcome,” the jovial man said. “Come in quickly and we will get you warm.

Before Aline could take a step, a proprietary hand reached out from the coach and stopped her.

“Wait, Aline,” the cultured, but spoiled voice said and a tall, thin man stepped from the coach. Roland Verninac, Baron Rogier, surveyed the inn, a brow raised as his eyes traveled up the castle walls.

“You must come in quickly before the fog and mist settle in,” the innkeeper urged. “Your driver can take the horses around back to the stables. Jean will help you.” Henri motioned for his stable boy.

Both Aline and Roland looked around, and sure enough, a mist was rising from the valley, thickening the shadows. Aline shivered and drew her green cloak closer around her shoulders.

There was an eerie silence all around as the mist sifted closer and for some inexplicable reason, Aline felt a pull to enter not the inn, but the large ornate doors of the castle.

Her ears tuned out her brother and the innkeeper as they directed the stable boy and coachman to take a few necessary satchels and her case down from the coach. She stared, mesmerized by the doors, and involuntarily she moved towards them. One of her hands reached up to clasp the large silver cross on a heavy silver chain and she fingered the cool metal.

Whispers called her. Whispers tugged her closer and closer. All other sounds were tuned out as she stepped up to the doors and rested her palm on the wood. She didn’t hear the should of alarm from the inn yard.

Over and over the whispers called her.

“Aline, sweet child. Come. Come sweet one. Unlock the doors and com in. Come dearest Aline.”

The whispers were in her head. They knew her name. She wanted to scream for the voices to get out of her head. She wanted to push the doors open and do as they commanded. Pushing and pulling, she felt the invisible forces tugging her to the door while her hand on the cross pulled her back.

“Stop it!” She screamed at the voices in her head. “Stop! Stop!”

Suddenly the screaming in her head wasn’t just silent. She started screaming out the prayer she had learned for deliverance.

“Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, Sanctum nos Spiritum votis promereri sedulis, quatenus eius gratia et ab omnibus liberemur tentationibus, et peccatorum nostrorum indulgentiam percipere mereamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.”

She repeated the words over and over, sobbing, tears streaming down her face as the whispers tried to drown out her words, becoming screams themselves.

A hand gripped Aline’s arm, jerking her away from the door and thrusting the screams back where they belonged. The whispers abated and she stood in the fading light as the mist from the surrounding areas crept into the in yard. Her face was dry and she found that all her screaming and crying, while she thought it visible, had been only in her head. It had all happened in her head.

She shivered violently and heard a soft curse. She looked at the large hand that still gripped her arm and she followed it up to the man who was watching her intently. He was very tall with dark features; deep set eyes, eyebrows that slashed, and a grim mouth. He wore simple clothes, a basic white shirt and dark brown breeches tucked into scuffed black boots that went up to his thighs. Striking. The man was very striking and Aline tried to pull away from his grip, but he held her firmly.

“You need to come away from the door,” he said softly, his tone far softer than she would have imagined with his fierce look.

 

 

…………………………………….To be continued

 

Have I hooked you?  This all came from a very strange dream I mentioned a week or so ago. It gets more interesting, in my opinion, after a time. There is no continued plot, but well, I thought I would see what you all think. It’s not meant to go anywhere other than me having some fun at writing.

Kate

 

 

 

Eve and Noel – Flash Fiction

green-velvet-bow-long-sleeves-1950s-vintage-dress blue-velvet-short-sleeves-1950s-vintage-dressEve and Noel, identical twins in almost every way. Born only a couple minutes apart, Eve on the 24th, and Noel on the 25th, they were named after the holiest of days. Serene and elegant, both women were lovely to look at and calming to be around.

They both attended the Christmas Eve service with their parents. Eve wore a forest green, velvet dress, the skirt full from layers upon layers of tulle, with one of the layers edged in delicate silver, giving a glint as she walked. Her heels were matching velvet, with silver glitter on the four inch heels, twinkling as she walked. She kept with the theme of forest green on her nails, and a huge emerald and silver ring on her middle finger. Silver and green like a diamond Christmas tree, said her father. She had giggled in delight. Every year a specific color stood out for the holiday season. Last year it had been cranberry red, the year before, silver, black, and red.

churchatchristmas_2772351b 6332648515_fbf297138e_zWhile Eve was resplendent in green, Noel was in shades of sapphire blue. They set each other off perfectly with their red gold hair, similar to Rosemary Clooney’s in White Christmas. They were a statement as they walked into the little chapel, arms linked as they made their way to their favorite pew to the delicate strains of “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.”

Heads turned as watched the two women. Neither of them were proud, but it was impossible to ignore the stir they made.

“Our girls look like models,” their father remarked as he and his lovely wife followed behind their daughters; and it was true.

 

Okay, I wrote this piece of flash fiction last year on Christmas Eve. There wasn’t much of a plot other than velvet dresses and Rosemary Clooney. Enjoy

Kate

Christmas Stories

So the title of this post is rather misleading because I’m not talking stories about Christmas, but books that happen to have Christmas within the pages of the book.  Sadly enough, what first came to mind when I was thinking about this was a romance novel by Lisa Kleypas titled “Suddenly You.”

I love books that have that Christmas theme running through them.  It doesn’t have to take up much of the story, but I love when you draw it in and it is what makes up an intrinsic part of the plot. Maybe a gift from the hero to the heroine. Something personal even though they are at odds with each other.  Maybe it’s the heroine going away to her parents to regroup after being totally befuddled by the hero.  So you have her staying there during the holidays, and her crazy smart sister gives advice that leads the plot on further.

Maybe, like the case of Dear Mr. Knightley, by Katherine Reay, the heroine learns more about herself and being loved and loving others. (I loved the Christmas part in Dear Mr. Knightley.

In Suddenly You, the heroine is a spinster that breaks down and goes to the lavish party being held by her new publisher, a rakish man.  The party is incredible and the hero is sexy, and heroine is sweet, and they finally give in to their desires and decide to do something about it….. I mean sex, by the way.  Lol.  I’m so laughing here because, really, is this what Christmas has boiled down to?  Sex?

I’m just joking because I really do love this part in the book. And in any book where it comes to play.  There is something magical about the holidays, and the attitudes of people.

If I had been having a novel written about me, I went to meet my boyfriend years ago on the holidays.  That was a massive mistake, but it made me who I am now. And I could have probably written some interesting stuff about that holiday.  So long ago, and that said boyfriend is now married to someone else and they have a baby girl. Go figure.

So I’m curious, does anyone have a specific book that has Christmas within the walls of the book that just makes them feel ooey gooey inside?  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has one of my favorite Christmas themes in it. I love the wizards chess and the cloak… (I’m afraid I’m thinking of the movie as well)  And I love the Chronicles of Narnia The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Christmas-y theme in that.

So what book do you love with a Christmas vibe?

Kate

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary – A Review

_225_350_Book.1387.coverNelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary New and Enhanced Edition
By General Editor: Ronald F. Youngblood, is a marvelously exhaustive dictionary for the home reader.  Filled with a wealth of images, enough even for the picture hog that I am, there is plenty of diagrams, maps and genealogy charts.  The information is perfect for the home scholar like a standard home school student or general home reader. I compared this dictionary to my mother’s The New Bible Dictionary.  While this book doesn’t have as much in depth information as the TNBD, it is perfect for anyone that wants the basics.  The information is easy to find and the cross referencing is easy to figure out. There is actually more information in areas like animals and foods of the Bible that I have not seen in other dictionaries. Which makes the information more user friendly.  The hardcover book has a nice glossy cover that would easily wipe clean.  The book is hefty, weighing in at just over five pounds, but it’s worth it with thick pages and plenty of fun stuff. There is even information that is crucial with references to other gods from Egyptian, Greek and ancient gods from Canaan.

 

I love this dictionary.  I am a sucker for dictionaries in general and I am always curious about things within the pages of the Good Book.  Maps are wonderful and the images of ancient architecture are wonderful. I love seeing what the gates of Babylon look like now. Ephesus  is one of my particular favorites.  Anything Greek or Roman, and this book is filled with it.  Along with a wealth of people mentioned that are not always in other dictionaries. I love how one entry references another entry and three hours later I might put the book down!  I love that the book is so sturdy. I hate flimsy pages and I love glossy pages.  The weight can be a little daunting when sitting in bed, but the information makes up for that. I know I will be using this book for years to come.  I say this book is perfect for any age, but especially for Christian home schooler homes just because it is filled with so much information and it will be useful in those categories. I also think it is perfect for any Christian home use.

I can usually say most non-fiction books get a five star rating and this is no exception. This book is a five star book and I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a nice Bible Dictionary.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday Inspires – Book Covers

I love book covers. Sometimes more than the book itself, in which case, I don’t read the book, but I get the image of the cover. It’s kind of like coffee. Coffee smells way better than it tastes. (I still drink plenty of coffee so it is a loose analogy)
Some of my favorite covers are my Emilie Loring books, and honestly, all Jane Austen covers are beautiful. I’m even a fan of all those silly romance covers because it’s, well, silly. Always in a state of passionate undress.

So, do you have any favorite book covers that you like more than the book itself?

Happy Saturday
Kate

I’m Not Going To Feel Guilty!

Okay, so a week or so ago I posted a Barnes and Noble blog post on the perks of dating a non reader, The Non Reader & Me.

Points 4, 5, and 9, are what have been getting to me lately.  I feel guilty that I’m not reading new books from the library. I’m not finishing books from the library, and I just feel like my own stack of Emilie Loring’s and less deep books.  I just want to putter with books that have no due date or anything pretentious about them.  (the points, by the way are : 4. They never judge any of the books you’re reading, even your guilty pleasure beach reads. ,5. You’re never obligated to read books they’ve recommended to you instead of the books you actually want to read., and 9. They never judge you for the books you haven’t read.)

I feel like I should be reading new books, not old books that are comfortable like a friend or curled up in that chair you love. The guilt! Oh the guilt. I can’t be a true reader if I read books that I’ve read over and over, can I?

But this is silly.  Especially when you see my two stacks of books to read…. Oh pardon, it’s three stacks.Second Stack Stack to read

But I’m worrying about having things to read. Yes, I will admit, this is slightly insane, the guilt that is…. Though the stack of books is really ridiculous.  So, I am going to sit back and relax….. (I feel like Matthew Mcconaughey is in my head as I say that)  And just try to read my stacks of books.  That being said, I just checked another Emilie Loring book out of the library today, even though I have several of hers in paperback…. Just not the one I wanted….

I’m not going to feel guilty!

Signing off

Kate

I Need A Drink – Flash Fiction

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“Gah, I need a drink!” the blonde said as she swept into her best friend’s house.

“I have the tea on,” her friend replied rolling her eyes at the dramatics on display.

“Tea, dahling won’t do me a bit of good. Got anything stronger?” the blonde said, slumping into the chintz covered chair.

The friend just laughed and picked up the two teacups on the table.  Pretty little things with violets and gilt edging.

“Tequila or vodka? Take your pick,” the friend said showing the words painted on the cups.

The friend got a good laugh as the blonde’s mouth dropped open. When she finally recovered she chose the tequila cup, since a good margarita was in her mind. The tea was bracing, and hey, with the right mental image, anything is possible.

 

Signing off

Kate

Love Letters From God: Bible Stories – A Review

91QjaJsWoXLLove Letters from God: Bible Stories by Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Sophie Allsopp, is a collection of short Bible stories for children published by Zonderkidz. Each of the 18 stories has a companion ‘love’ letter to the reader written by “God” hidden under a flap with a charming ‘stamp’ as if it had just been mailed. There is a blank spot to fill in the name of the child for each letter, making this a highly personalized book. There is also one last letter at the end of the book asking the reader to join Jesus’s team and a blank letter for the reader to pen a response to Jesus.

Of the 18 stories, some are classics, like the Creation, Noah, Jonah and the Whale, and the birth of Christ. Then the less ‘popular’ stories such as Samuel, David’s Anointing, the lost sheep, and Zacchaeus. The pages are filled with full page illustrations, that are unique to each story, some having a more photograph feel set in with the drawings. The overall feel of the book is very elegant with heavy pages and a glossy and mat dust jacket. The choice of a turquoise as the main color makes it incredibly soothing in its own way. It’s a very well done book.

I found this book, though, hard to review. I found the premise of the book was creative with the personalized letters to the reader, yet I found each story to be ‘dumbed down’ to the point of being cutesy instead of containing enough depth to really teach anything. Most Bible stories are not what I would call ‘happy’, but Ms. Nellist has made every story exuberant in some way. The story of Noah, while one of my favorite stories, is all about God destroying all but a few people. It’s not about just Noah’s family and the animals in the ark. Nor is it exactly exciting for the lions to be soooooo happy because they are going to get to eat Daniel, in the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den. I just think there should have been better content in regards to the stories instead of making them so ‘happy’. ( I feel like I should cue Pharrell Williams and his song “Happy”)

That being said, I think many Christian families will enjoy this book. I myself was raised with a more traditional backing where we read the Bible instead of learning the stories from other books. I think that there are methods to Bible stories that make it more simple for a child to understand without making it ‘fun’. For instance, one of the best methods I remember being taught the stories was with large flashcard pictures, that were works of art in themselves, while the story was read. The content wasn’t taken out, but the pictures helped coalesce the whole story. I found this book to be just cute and I wonder if once the stories have been read over it will become old. Also I would say with what I have seen of most children reading books, don’t let your 4-8 year old alone with this. The letters will get torn because there is great care needed in reading this book.

I’d would probably give this book at the most 3 out of 5 stars. And I can honestly say I hate to write more negative reviews.

I was provided this book free for my honest opinion and review from Harper Collins Christian publishing.

Signing off

Kate