The Nutcracker – Writing 101 Day 13

Ella watched in wonder as the ballerina’s twirled and spun around the wintery stage. For years she had wanted to see Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet. Now, here she was in a magnificent theater, not far from Rockefeller center and the magnificent Christmas tree. It was truly a magical, wintery wonderland time of year.


My flash fiction is always longer than about 200 words. This comes in at fifty two words. Whoa. I was listening to classical winter like music, and since Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet has been one I am dying to see one day… It was in my head.

And because I like this image I’m adding it to the post


Artist Mad – Writing 101 Day 12

“Gah, the blue! So stupid!” The woman railed and flung her arms wide, disgusted, at the painting hung under delicate lights to enhance its bold colors. She stamped off towards another painting, her red kitten heels slapping the  white, wood floors.

Behind her trailed the younger woman and man, her arm through his, as she leaned close to his bent head.

“And why did we bring her?” Janell muttered to Todd as they stopped at another painting in the very white, very austere gallery. This was another abstract piece. Slashes of olive green with bits of red, ocher, and turquoise dotted and swirled in an alarming pattern. It was not a comfortable painting. Janelle arched a brow, but kept her comments to herself.

An original Sharon Meyers piece titled "What Doesn't Kill You, Murders You In Your Sleep

An original Sharon Meyers piece titled “What Doesn’t Kill You, Murders You In Your Sleep

“It’s. . . ah . . .” Todd trailed off.

“Horrible! Too bold. To impertinent. Too Imperialistic.”

“Well, um, it’s not that bad,” Todd said, then flinched as the woman rounded on him, her long grey hair snapping, icy blue eyes burrowing into the tall man until he slouched in fear.

“It. Is. Disgusting.” The woman snapped at him, then whirled and marched off towards another painting, pushing through the groups of people holding champagne flutes. They had come to the opening gala of the artist, Sharon Meyers. A celebrated painter if one was to believe the critics. And one usually did.

“Imperialistic?” Janelle asked, but Todd just shook his head and sighed.

By all accounts, or as far as Janelle could tell, the evening had been a smashing success.

Several paintings had been placed in new homes and the curator of the gallery had been all smiles. Despite the railings of a crazy, mad woman who had practically insulted every painting there and the idiocy of the people purchasing the artwork.

Janelle sighed as she watched the other woman rail at another painting.  She tugged Todd to her side. 

“Next time your mother shows a series of paintings, leave her home,” Janelle requested and winced as Sharon Meyers pointed a sharp, red nail at a scared man who was admiring an abstract flower.  “She’s going to scare off any prospective buyers of her work.”

Todd just groaned and reached for another glass of champagne on a tray as a waiter passed by.  His mother was completely insane. But it was art….

I write a lot of critiques, what with book reviews and general opinions. So I decided to forego a traditional critique and write a bit of flash fiction. I had several ideas as I wrote this, and it was quite fun. Ah, those crazy artists out there. Me being one. :P

As for the painting…. Well, it is an original Sharon Meyers piece…. *wink wink*




Daffodils And Almond Cookies – Writing 101 Day 4 – Flash Fiction


He knocked on the door, the bouquet of daffodils bright and cheery in his fist while the day was dreary and wet with low slung clouds. He smiled brightly as she opened the door.

“Henry! Those are beautiful. Are they for me?” Narcissus asked and held open the door for Henry to enter.

Henry nodded and  slipped in the door, slipping off his rubber boots before he tracked in water onto her pristine floor.  He thrust out the bouquet and was relieved when Narcissus took the flowers from him and motioned for him to follow her.

“Would you like some cookies? I just baked some almond drop cookies.  And I can put on the kettle for some tea.”

Henry nodded again and trailed after her. He loved her house. It always smelled good, like her. Warm, sweet, and a little bit like vanilla.  She always had pretty flowers everywhere, but daffodils and narcissus were her favorites since they were her name.

“You’re quiet today, Henry.  What kind of tea would you like?” She asked as she reached up on a shelf in the kitchen for a square vase that was bright turquoise.

“Do you have the Woolong tea?” He asked and sat down in his favorite chair at her kitchen table. It faced the stove and he could watch her fix the tea.

The Oolong?” She clarified, and he nodded. “I do have that tea.  I just had a new tin arrive, so I’m dying to try it.  Why don’t you get the poppy teapot down.”

Henry grabbed the step stool and got the cream and red poppy teapot down from the top shelf and filled it with hot water from the kettle. He waited for the porcelain to heat then poured out the water. Narcissus scooped four teaspoons into the pot and Henry filled it again with almost boiling water. They worked together quietly and perfectly as they had been making tea together for a long time. As long as Henry could remember.

While the pot was steeping, she pulled out an eggplant colored bowl filled with crisp cookies that were covered in sliced almonds. They made Henry’s mouth water. She pulled out mix-matched plates and set them on the table next to the vase of daffodils.

Henry filled the creamer with milk and found the little spoons she liked to stir the tea, then she was pouring the tea into white cups. Henry leaned in and sniffed the steam, fogging his black glasses.  Narcissus laughed and he smiled.

She fixed her tea and he fixed his with just a little milk and a lump of sugar she dropped into his cup with the little tongs. She passed him the bowl of cookies and he took two.

“Now, Henry. Tell me how your days was.  Tell me what you learned in third grade today?”

“Okay, Aunt Narcissus,” Henry answered and took a bite of cookie before he started to tell her about the horrible fractions he was learning in school.


So the assignment for Day 4: a story in a single image.  This is actually an easy assignment for me to do because one of my favorite things to do is to take a picture and write about it. Any picture, though I didn’t really like any of the ones suggested with the assignment.  Fortunately they directed me to Unsplash where the pictures are completely free and high resolution. I urge you to take a look because license free images are not easy to find.

I do hope you enjoy this piece of flash fiction. I could have gone so many different ways with this, but as I wrote, I started picturing Timmy in The Sea is Blue where he goes to visit an older friend.  It’s one of my favorite books.  Sometimes I think I might make a good aunt.


Why I Write – Writing 101

My review is the third paragraph. I am so thrilled and wowed, and kind of jazzed my name is in a magazine

My review is the third paragraph. I am so thrilled and wowed, and kind of jazzed my name is in a magazine

This past summer, I wrote a review for the Persephone books Classic, The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield-Fisher.  It took me entirely too long to read the book()because of just me, not the book) and write a review.  But I sent in my review, back in August and I just received my Persephone biannual. In the section  Our Bloggers Write, my review, or at least a part of it, was included with other reader’s words. This is why I write. Not for accolades, though those are always nice, but I want a voice. I want my voice to be heard. I have connected with other authors from reviews I have written, which is great. I love being able to talk to other published writers. Sometimes I feel like they are in this other realm of writing that I might never reach, but then I have to remember that they are just people as well.

Last night reading the same biannual as above, the list of events for Persephone Books was listed and one caught my attention so much so that I had to write about it in my journal. This is what I said: ” I was reading the back of the Persephone Biannual where the events were listed, and  there is this event on November 28th where they will be “selling our books beside the fire at the Christmas Fair.” And boom! I was transported to the smell of snow, the sounds of children singing Carol of the Bells, and the Harry Potter/Columbia[California]/British Christmas feel. Like it was time to start decoration and reading books with a Christmas theme in them. Suddenly You comes to mind first…”  The book mentioned is by Lisa Kleypas, a favorite romance writer of mine. Please do not judge that I like cheesy romance books. Oh the horror that I don’t read just literature.  But it’s getting on the Holiday season and I want to read about it, and write about it. I have a piece of flash fiction I did a couple years ago that has a Christmas theme, and I’ve wanted to expound on it for years. There is something so delightful about having a Christmas vibe to a piece of fiction. You can read two of my holiday pieces below.

A Christmas Dance    (I was channeling Emilie Loring when I wrote this) and Eve and Noel – Flash Fiction

This is why I write, above that is. I write because I will read something and I see a scene. I see a picture and there is a story behind it. I watch a bird take flight and I’m remembering my childhood and mentally writing a children’s story to something as simple and small as an acorn  in a bird’s beak.  I am forever having ideas pound, pound, pound in my head. For years I daydreamed, not knowing what to do with all the thoughts crashing around in my head. I didn’t have an outlet because I hated writing in school. I didn’t understand how to get a story out. I remember one instance where I was supposed to write a story about a monkey and instead I wrote a mini paper. It was a frustrating time. Writing was always frustrating until I Mrs. B found a new method of teaching me to write.  It was a ‘boom’ moment where suddenly it made sense. But even then, in my teenage years, while I would write hoping to write like Emilie Loring, I didn’t write constantly. I semi dabbled in it, spending more time reading.  It wasn’t until I hit 18 that I really started to write. Nothing really good, though Rena, my heroine still has her book, but it has changed drastically from the beginning.

I never knew what to do with all those thoughts floating around in my head. What does a child who hates to write, do with all those thoughts in her head.  If I could go back I would teach the inner me that it’s okay to write whatever you want in a journal and it does not have to be a day to day account of what you did. I would talk about what Susan Wooldridge said in her book about a journal.  Gah, if I had  Poemcrazy back when I started really writing, maybe life would have made a whole lot more sense.

I read constantly. Books, books, and more books are my world. I cannot get enough books. And I read good books and consume the words and the styles and the stories. I envy  writers who write something that I know I will never be able to write. I eat books that have a story that hits me in my chest and I walk around in a mental daze for days reliving the magic that has whirled me off into another world. I rarely think of books as another world or door I open and enter, but the minute I open the pages of a book I love, I have the image in my head. I can imagine the scene just so, and certain books I have read over and over, my initial image is still there. I read Emilie Loring’s and the image is always the same. So I read to meet those characters again.    I write to see if I can be as good as these writers. Writers I respect and admire. I want to be as good as them. I want some of the qualities of how they write. I read some books and think to myself “gah, I wish I could write that way.” Of course, I really don’t want to write just like them. I want my own voice. Which I do have. And because I read so much, I feel I have several voices, several writer’s voices in my head telling me how to write. The one I hate the most is Stephen King’s voice as he is forever telling me to cut the adverbs. Damn Stephen King.

And recently I have to keep remembering Anne Lamott telling me to shut those voices (mostly characters) up. Tell them to be quiet so I can write. So many voices in my head. No, I am not crazy. Maybe some schizophrenic people just need to write to quiet the voices….. Writing this I worry that someone might think I’m crazy, but other writers know.

People that do not write don’t get all of this. I don’t expect them to. I watch my father when I go off on a tangent or daydream and sometimes he just stares at me like I’m out in left field. I might be. I might actually be on the cliffs of England wondering what the sea spray is like.  You might never know, because five minutes ago I could have been in the Sierra Nevadas with Tyler and Phaedra as they are driving up the Sonora Pass…. (they are both characters as well……) Or I might have just killed off my character with Chocolate Pudding.

This is why I write.


Death by Poison – Day No. 28

behold here's poisonPoison: a woman’s weapon, as it has been said.  Poison is a crafty art. It takes much more premeditation to murder by poison. Guns, knives, blunt force…… All can be used in the heat of passion, something men are more likely to use as their emotions tend to be more volatile. But poison is a slow process. Unless you are going for insta-kill, in that case, just pour the arsenic on like sugar.

I love to think of poisoning like the Brewster sisters in Arsenic and Old Lace. Their potion was certainly effective. All those poor, lonely, old men never know what hit them! As Martha Brewster’s recipe goes:” Well, Mortimer, for a gallon of elderberry wine I take a teaspoonful of arsenic, and add a half-teaspoonful of strychnine, and then just a pinch of cyanide.”

Mortimer: “Should have quite a kick.”

1897716_10153608284891291_1671472435308598067_nNo kidding. Quite a kick is putting it mildly. And now days, I’m not sure you could get any of those poisons easily. But then why would you want to?  And plus, do you really want to Google those searches to find said poisons?  As this image illustrates ———->   You have to really be careful out there. I found these comments from Facebook that people made in regards to this picture. I think they are accurate.

I especially worry about my googling for ways to poison someone with a plant. And… how long does it take someone to die if they’ve been poisoned.”

And “I actually worry about this sometimes. I mean…one minute I’m looking up knock-off recipes for Arby’s sauce and the next I’ve googled how much TNT it takes to blow up a city block. Kind of….um….odd.

And  “Lol well, on the bright side, should they google our names we’ll all be on one list & our overnight stay in jail will be one filled with stories”

617VA903KVL51Is9yESLoL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_So, yeah, looking up how to poison your character might not be wise.

For years I’ve wanted this book,   to the left. And the one  to the right is perfect. You could find out all kinds of things to kill off your characters in those books.  And in England there is ‘The Deadly Garden.’ Alnwick Garden, it’s called. I guess that’s to make it sound…. less deadly. Hmmph! Sure. Now that would be a fun place to visit. The Deadly Garden


Poison a la Carte with Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin

I’ve always thought it would be fun to kill off a character with poison. Especially ever since there was the Nero Wolfe episode “Poison a la Carte”. ( I can’t ever seem to read the books, but anyhow).  So there was murder by arsenic in that episode and from that point on, it’s like I just wanted to write a story where someone murdered someone by poison. But having to do all the research and writing a mystery is not my forte. The mystery is my issue. But writing about poison is still in my mind.

And yeah, the murderer would be a woman. Clearly.

So…. a woman’s poison…….

Do you ever want to write about poisoning a character? And do you google it? And do you worry about the NSA/CIA/FBI?



Ladies In The Kitchen – Day No. 21

Only ten more days until this challenge of Write 31 Days is over. Ladies In The Kitchen – Day No. 21Wait. What?!  How has the month flown?  That being said, I’m feeling like I’m running out of topics even though I still have several more days to do. I had a couple posts I decided didn’t fit my month, so now I’m having to scramble for some extra ideas.  Whoops.

So today, women cooks. Women in the kitchen. Ina, Giada, Joy and more.  I love my lady cooks. I love watching cooking shows when I have the time. My all time favorite is Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. This woman is amazing. I can’t stress that enough. I have watched her off and on for the past ten plus years…. lord, it’s been that long?  She makes the most amazing food, and her recipes work! That right there is crucial. You have to have a recipe that works and you get done and it looks like hers. I am famous for making her marshmallows at Christmastime, and they always turn out. Always. And don’t get me started on her Brioche bread. It’s so amazingly good.  I want to make all of her food in her Barefoot in Paris book.  My sister and I were so disappointed when she moved and her new kitchen was very different. Turns out, she didn’t move. She built a barn next to her house for the taping of the show. Whew! I’m so relieved because I loved her house.  Everything about this woman is so cool. If I could, I’d spend the day cooking with her, meeting her marvelous husband, and getting to know her friend who does the flowers. I could go on. But if you ever get the chance to read her cookbooks or watch her show, do it. She is the best.

Giada De Laurentiis.  Okay, it’s very easy to make fun of Giada. She is a little over the top with her Italian pronunciations, and cleavage….. But I really do like Giada. She makes really cool Italian food and her cookbooks are so simple. I can’t say as I’ve ever tried anything of hers out, but I do have three of her books. I kind of just love reading them.  So much fun.  I love simple food; I love Italian food…. it’s a perfect fit. And I love her kitchen.  She has a killer kitchen. Actually, all of her kitchens have been pretty great.


Joy Wilson

Joy Wilson

Joy the Baker. I don’t know how I found Joy Wilson, but I started following her blog a while ago and while I have yet to make anything of hers, I love her blog, I love her podcast, and I hope to get her sweets cookbook soon.  She does amazingly delicious recipes, and her pictures are to die for.  Living in New Orleans, she mixes flavors and styles and gets some of that southern cooking in there with a modern flair. I highly recommend you check her out if not just to drool over her pictures.

And lastly, when I can find cooking channels on Youtube, well I’m happy. I have fun doing that as well. My newest fun gal is RachhLoves.  Below is her chocolate chip cookie recipe. I already have a great recipe myself, but I love watching her. She kind of reminds me of Lizzie from The Lizzie Diaries.  She’s got some moxie and spunk.  Check her out.

There are a lot of other cooks out there, but these are my favorites. My sister has gone through the years of loving Rachel Ray and The Pioneer Woman, but I rarely can watch either.  The Pioneer Woman I will tolerate, but she really drives me nuts with her cooking. I like real and classic.

So, who is your favorite woman cook?  Oh, and if I could have watched Julia Child when she was younger, I probably would have. I remember religiously watching her when she was much older and cooking with chefs like Jacques Pepin.

Don’t forget, is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!


Emilie Loring – Day No. 18

I have mentioned extensively about one of my favorite, if not total favorite, authors; Emilie Loring. I’m sure half of you don’t have a clue who she is, but I wanted to take a bit of time to talk about this wonderful author. So bear with me.

I was first introduced to Emilie Loring when I was 16 and moving my way up in the library books from young adult to adult. My mother was hunting through the large library and came back with two of her books and I was hooked. My first Emilie Loring book I fell in love with, and to this day is till my favorite, is Here Comes the Sun. That is the cover from the one I remember, which is kind of funny because the girl is a blonde. It took me forever to re-imagine her as a blonde.

The books are wholesome, which is pretty much the formulaic way of Emile Loring. Her books are so clean I would let a 14 year old read them with no issue at all.  They are romance books, but they have mystery and portray family life, love of country, love of the military, and the true honest love of two people.  They are romance the way romance should be written, which is why I still return to them over and over. Sure, the more modern romances are fun, but they are filled with a fair amount of sex… Which again, can be fun, but sometimes you just want the story. And these books, while somewhat predictable, are just a lovely story.

So, the books are inspiring, but the woman herself is inspiring. Emile Loring didn’t start writing until she was 50, in 1914, and continued till her death in 1951. So she wasn’t rushing to write and publish at a young age. I think that’s great. Here I am, trying to  publish, having some writers say, “Oh you gotta publish now,”  while others, like Susan Wooldridge, have told me, “slow down and just focus on your blog. Publishing will come later.”  Emilie Loring’s life fits with the latter.  Which is helpful.

Sometimes I really feel like I need to just get something published, but there are writers out there that haven’t published till their later years. If it takes me till I’m fifty to publish, well I guess it takes me till. I’m fifty.  (oh please no!!!)

Also, Emilie Loring is inspirational to me because of the style she describes things. She describes landscapes and flowers and clothing in a manner that is unique. With lots of fragments that make up a paragraph in an amazing style. And the woman loved her flowers, and gorgeous flowers too. She’s always talking about flower borders.

The men are dashing, the girls are sweet, the villains vill quite well.  All making for a very good story.  I highly suggest Emilie Loring books to young women growing up.  They are sweet and inspirational without having to be a Christian book.  And yeah, I might go on and on about Emilie Loring, but it’s because she is the inspiration for why I started writing. I would not have written my first very bad start to a romance when I was 16 had it not been for her.

Have you entered the Dayspring giveaway? is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

Go on and check it out!



Girls Who Are Fierce – Day No. 15

Hello dearies.  We are halfway through this Write 31 Days challenge and seriously, it is a challenge. Partly because I added in the Blogging U course of Poetry 201 from The Daily Post. So along with my topics for the month I am also writing ballads, odes, haikus and more. Gasping for air here.  But it’s okay. This is good for me. Sadly I don’t have time to read all the other wonderful posts the other members of Write 31 Days are doing. That is my November thing. To read some great posts.

Today, I have a post on girls who are fierce and not your typical DID (damsel in distress)

But first, Crystal Stine  has given me the ability to host a giveaway. is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!


So, did you enter? If not, go ahead, I’ll wait……..

Back now? Okay. Let’s get started.

static.squarespace.comA current trend in books, movies, and tv are girls who are far from the damsel in distress. They are fierce, strong, kick butt girls who take no prisoners.  Okay, well most won’t kill unless they have to, but that all depends on the story.  These are girls who don’t need a man and are perfectly happy just being friends with a guy.  And a huge part of me loves that. I love guys, and want to be friends with all kinds of guys. Why they get stuck in the relationship thing blows my mind….  The girl in one of my favorite Emilie Loring books says that. The book is Here Comes the Sun… doo do doo do….

My current favorite gal like this is Rose Hathaway from The Vampire Academy books. I love that she is really fierce and can take on all these bad guys, even her boyfriend turned bad guy… She is a tough, smart ass girl.  Granted, she reads like she’s 25 even though she’s just 18, but I love her. I love that Zoey Deutch played her in the films. I could go on and on about her.

Tris-Prior-fanvergents-37772516-736-1091I love Tris Prior in the Divergent books. Now this girl is pretty darn cool. She may have a few issues, but who doesn’t?  She goes from being meek and mild to really taking charge.  I love how Shailene Woodley portrays her in the films.  She is so cool.

alexis-black-mesh-inset-dressAlexis Castle has really come into her own on ABC’s Castle. I love that she has taken over her dad’s Private Eye business without his knowing. I seriously think ABC needs to give her her own Private Detective show. She’s always held her own on the show, and she is so cool. Going from smart kid, to wanting to be in the medical field, to now being able to close cases in the PI world.  She’s pretty, and she’s not above using her feminine charms.  One thing that makes a woman strong is being able to use her God given gorgeousness charms. I do wish that more fierce girl characters had that quality. It isn’t wrong to smile at a guy and get what you want.  It is for their own good anyhow, isn’t it? *smirk*

Other gals that make the grade are Katniss Everdeen. I won’t go into as much detail about her because while I like her, she has some serious issues in my opinion.  But I liked how Jennifer Lawrence portrayed her and I think she’s done a pretty good job.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer has probably been one of the biggest kick butt girls. One of the first ones I was introduced to and she was always and probably is still one of my favorites even if I didn’t stick with the show.  Sarah Michelle Geller always was so cool in my opinion.

Then there were the three Halliwell sisters.  I loved, loved, loved Charmed. I love that you had these three sisters, four later on, that could love, but still take on the bad guy. They didn’t need a guy to take care of things, but they did think they were nice to have around. Those girls were always so much fun to watch and I have always loved Alyssa Milano because of this show. She was and still is so cool.

tumblr_nfyj9nHFIj1shn04do1_500I really like girls that are tough and can solve the problem. I really do.  I think that they make it exciting and while damsels in distress are a classic fairy tale, at the same time it reminds me of this marvelous quote I probably found on Tumblr.  I like it for myself because I kind of am looking for my own Prince Charming.  He might be stuck up in that tree, poor idiot. I might need to rescue him.

Now let me find My sword…..

I’d love to know what heroines that you like. Fierce strong ones.  Tell me.  I’m sure you all have some favorites.  And if they are the same as mine, well right on, girl, right on.  (or guys. :) )


Goodnight Manger – A Review

_225_350_Book.1731.coverGoodnight Manger by Laura Sassi is  Laura’s sophomore picture book following her Goodnight Ark.  The book is illustrated again by Jane Chapman and the story follows the singsong story rhymes that Goodnight Ark had within it’s pages.   This time, it’s baby Jesus who can’t get to sleep. The animals are too noisy and the baby starts to wail.  Back and forth the animals try to help Mary and Joseph quiet  a squirming, twitching baby.  From hay for the baby’s head from the donkey, to feathers from the hen. Just when the baby is quieting down, the heavenly angels start singing their Hosannas, and soon he’s awake again.  Goodness all this noise in the stable!  Shepherds arrive along with sheep, then come wise men from far and wide, that baby’s sleep will be denied….. Okay, silly rhyme there, but reading the book to write this review had me rhyming myself!   Soon Mama Mary suggests a song and all the wise men and shepherds start singing a lullaby that gently lulls baby Jesus to sleep at last.

This picture book is quite similar to Goodnight Ark, which I did a review on.  As with the Ark, this book is geared towards children 4-8 in my opinion. Parents can read it to their younger children as a lovely Christmas rhyming story, while older children can use it to learn to read marvelous rhyme.  And while I enjoyed the book, I did find a couple of the rhymes a bit discordant with the rhythm, as I would have to turn the page to finish the rhyme and it caused too much of a pause. I felt a little jarred and harder to read than Ark.  Along with that, while the pictures of the animals, Joseph, the shepherds, and wise men were right on par with Jane Chapman’s other work, I was severely disappointed with her portrayal of Mary.  All my life I have pictured Mary as being this beautiful woman. I figure if God chose her to carry Jesus and have him as her son, she has to be beautiful.  And I think there are absolutely stunning Israeli women. Beautiful women.  So to have Mary look very plain and worn out was disappointing. Yes, I know she just had a baby, but well, it doesn’t matter about that aspect when illustrating a book. I would have preferred her to look prettier.  That is just my opinion.

All that being said, this is a lovely rhyme book again.  I think it would be a marvelous story to read young children during the month of December to prepare for Christmas. It’s sweet and charming enough that I could see children learning the whole rhyme to recite.  I would definitely give it 4 out of 5 stars. A little less than Goodnight Ark due to the illustrations and the jarring rhyme. But all in all a very good book

This book was provided to me free of charge for my honest opinion by HarperCollins Christian Publishing. I have in no way been compensated for my opinions.


Ladies in Literature – Day No. 12

I have another post planned for fierce, kick-butt women in fiction later in the month, but this is about women in general that I like in books. It’s kind of varied, and kind of just a personal opinion piece, but I wanted to share. I was going to write about women artists, but since I was seriously blanking on female artists, that topic has been scrapped. So, onward.

Emilie Loring Books (some of my favorites)

In books I have a fairly large selection of women I love. It probably doesn’t hurt that I love reading so um, well books are going to be my area of love.  Someday someone is going to call my on my Emilie Loring addiction…. Oh wait, the ladies at the library have already done that.  Neva’ mind.  I absolutely love almost every gal in the Emilie Loring books. They are girls  with moxie and love, and kindness, and sometimes they are weak, and stupid, but I feel I can relate to them. (yes, even the stupid parts because sometimes I can be kind of stupid.) They are like the ultimate good girl, girly girl, best friend girl. I would love to know these girls!  And just like them, I love the four women of Norah Robert’s Bride Quartet. I love these gals. They own businesses, they are fierce, but they are also such girls. Sexy and sweet, they make my day.

The Bride Quartet by Norah Roberts

The Bride Quartet by Norah Roberts

I like girls that have cool jobs, but not the typical doctor, lawyer, cop, etc jobs. I like jobs that a middle class girl would do.  That’s partly why I love the girls from the Bride quartet. One is a photographer, another a baker, the third a florist, and lastly the manager of a this whole bridal planning company.  They are jobs I would do. I love the complexity of the positions. They are not just fluff pieces.  Those are the kinds of girls I love. They are normal. They are not fierce strong women in the sense of say Katniss or Triss from Hunger Games and Divergent, respectively.

I love Anne Elliot from Persuasion. I pick her specifically because while I love Elizabeth Bennett, I actually prefer the Lizzy Bennett from the Kiera Knightley P&P better than the book.  But Anne Elliot is this woman who has had her heart broken and has had to remain with her family who doesn’t really appreciate all of who she is. And yet, she still has this amazing outlook on life. She isn’t bitter so much as just older. She has grown and knows her heart better than when she was young and could have married Captain Wentworth. The fact that she still cares for him after all the years of separation is kind of just romantic. I actually know to some degree what it’s like to long for someone for years.  I actually had the option of possibly being with this person years ago, but turned him down because at the time it was more than I could comprehend. I was too young and didn’t know myself as much as I do now.  For anyone curious, he’s in my Cast of Cooks. I’m betting you can figure out who it is. So I get Anne. She’s steadfast and far from Emma’s flightyness. (I like Emma but she is so flighty)

Honestly, off the top of my head, these are all my top favorites. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but there are about 20 Emilie Loring books I love, and the four Norah Roberts books, then the Jane Austen books. That adds up to being quite a few books. So I shall end for now.

Notable mentions are the gals in these books:

Sunday’s at Tiffany’s by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (all the women are so unique in this book)

So tell me, who are some literary women you admire or think they are just fun to read about? I’d love to know. I’m always on the lookout for gals to read about. I’d love any suggestions.