Photos with Captions to Make You Smile and Think

We’ve reached the mid-week point and for many of us it’s been a hot one. Tomorrow, Canada celebrates its birthday and I know my friends to the south will be celebrating this Sunday. Today, I bring you a few more photos. I’ve been feeling a bit more philosophical, lately, so not as many ‘smile’ captions. Next time. 🙂

Review of Open, Shut, by Nonnie Jules

Happy Friday! It’s the last weekday of Spring Break (changed from March by the government), due to COVID. As we deal with a third wave, staying home and writing has become more of a priority than ever.

Today I’m reviewing, Open, Shut, A Short Story, by Nonnie Jules. She is the President and Founder of Rave Reviews Book Club.

What Amazon says:

Darcy Lynn has a few problems: her sister, Lola, killed by a drunk driver, leaves her with an eerie message right before her death; her parents are atheists; her father drinks a little too much, and her brother, Bud, is just annoying. But, her most pressing issue is that things are mysteriously opening and closing around her and she hasn’t a clue as to why…or how.

My Turn:

This story is told from the POV of Darcy Lynn after her sister, Lola, was killed. Too young to remember the horrific details of her sister’s death, years later, Darcy seeks answers from Lola’s diary. What she finds is staggering. Her parents, sworn not to divulge a terrible secret to her younger siblings, by Lola herself, had never revealed the whole truth.

But has Lola really left? Soon after her sister’s death, Darcy Lynn experiences strange phenomena that cannot be explained by science, or her atheist parents. Darcy Lynn begins to question her own beliefs and comes to understand that the visible may not be all there is. Open, Shut is an invitation to consider this possibility.  

Nonnie does a great job in the creation of realistic and ordinary characters, who encounter the extraordinary. There is plenty of growth in all of them, a key ingredient for a great story.

The central message was that good things can come from tragedy. The story flows evenly and logically to towards that end. As a man of faith, I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who has experienced great loss and for those who struggle with the ‘big picture.’ I’m giving this one, FOUR STARS!

Meet Nonnie Jules and connect with her:

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Photos with Captions, To Make You Smile and Think

Here we are, Friday before the rescheduled Spring Break. The kiddos will be off next week, but we are under a ‘stay at home’ order from the government. They don’t call them ‘lockdowns’ anymore. Probably sounds too negative, and morale is not exactly pie in the sky, these days.

Well, how about some photos with captions, to lift your spirits.

Parents of grade schoolers will get this one.

Review of Hanging Stars on Big Willow Creek, by Sarah Hill

Spring has sprung, the robins are hopping about our yard in search of food and nesting materials and the lawn is beginning to green and grow. That means I’ll soon have to pull the lawn mower from winter hibernation. I love this time of year, a time of new beginnings.

Speaking of which, as of late, I’ve been delving into the genre of romance, something I’ve never done before.

Today, I present my review of Hanging Stars on Big Willow Creek, by Sarah Hill.

Here’s what Amazon says:

Rylie Johnson is living her dream as a best-selling author in New York with her husband, Spencer and their imaginative little boy, Alex. As she prepares for the release of her newest book and upcoming book tour, her world is turned upside down when she receives a phone call from home. She must return to Idaho, the place she left twenty years ago and help care for the woman who raised her. Rylie comes face to face with the past she worked so hard to forget and learns things aren’t always as they seem.

My Turn:

The story speaks volumes about the human condition. How we perceive our world, based on childhood experiences.

Sarah does an excellent job of creating characters that are realistically human and are easy to become emotionally invested in. There are no true villains in this book, but that makes them all the more relatable.

Rylie grows up in a home that is both materially and emotionally impoverished. The object of ridicule and bullying, she understandably grows defensive and cynical of those she deems to be, ‘one of them.’

This story speaks to anyone who’s ever felt isolated, unworthy, and unloved. It reminds the reader that there are still good and caring souls out there and that everyone has potential, despite their circumstance.

A gently rolling plot, with a down home feeling, that will appeal to those who enjoy a good heart tugging read.

I give this, FOUR STARS!

Meet Sarah:

SARAH HILL, lives in Idaho with her husband, 3 dogs and cat. When she isn’t feeding, playing or doctoring one of her fur babies, you can find her watching a chick flick or favorite Hallmark movie, hanging with family and friends, reading or taking pictures (because photos are important!) Some of her favorite things include the world of Harry Potter, Mexican food, camping, playing pranks, laughing and kissing her husband.

Sarah is also the author of Call of the Blue Heron, her debut novel, which was published in November of 2019. She continues to listen to the characters who find her and whisper their stories in her ear and plans to get their stories out to the world.

Connect with her and purchase a copy:

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #39. By Mark Bierman @mbiermanauthor #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction

HELLO EVERYONE AND WELCOME TO AUTHOR SUZANNE BURKE’S “FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE!” EACH WEEK SHE FEATURES AN IMAGE AND INVITES EVERYONE TO WRITE A FLASH FICTION, OR NON-FICTION, PIECE INSPIRED BY THAT IMAGE IN ANY FORMAT AND GENRE OF THEIR CHOOSING.  MAXIMUM WORD COUNT: 750 WORDS. IN ADDITION TO RUNNING A WONDERFUL BLOG, SUZANNE HAS WRITTEN MANY EXCITING BOOKS. PLEASE A HAVE A LOOK AT HER SITE: WECOME TO THE WORLD OF SUZANNE BURKE

Here is my contribution, enjoy!

“Thirty-three!”

“Huh? What? Aghh! Not this again! How do you even know? Oh, you did not just roll your eyes at me!”

“Look behind us.”

“I’m looking.”

“You see that second light on the structure, behind our car?”

“It’s out, so what?”

“Well, Freddo, that’s one thing, and bad enough. Also, your cranial excellence, that’s how I can tell we’re in car number thirty-three.”

“Gosh, Jake. You need serious help. Not everything has to be an even number.”

“Nice redmark on your left check, where you slapped it. Want me to give you one on the right, to match? It’s driving me crazy.”

“Ha. Ha. Funny guy. You know that those scissiors are probably sticky, from the cotton candy, right.”

“Nope. I carry wipes, for just such an occasion. Already cleaned them while we were standing in line.

“I guess you would have had time, since you let that family of six go ahead of us, because you wanted to be an even number in the lineup. You should have just waited until then, to give your cotton candy a trim.”

“Don’t know how you ate that bird’s nest. I mean, the stuff was so . . . poofy!”

“Hey, we’ve stopped.”

“You know Fred, your ability to state the obvious is astounding. Wait, we’re  sitting at forty-one degrees!”

“Annndd, oh, never mind.”

“How do I know? See the strength tester, you know, the game where you use a sledgehammer to ring the bell? It’s ninety degrees, and we are at forty-one, by comparrison.”

“Will you cut that out! Stop rocking this thing! You can’t move it up or down, genius!”

“My scissors! Oh please land straight up!”

“Look out, down there! As if they’re gonna—”

“Yes!”

“Hey, the ferris wheel operator looks mad. He’s yelling up at us.”

“Pshaw! Who cares what a man with an uneven goatee has to say. I mean, look at that thing. Hey! I hope you have a suitable filter on your OKCupid profile selfie! Ouch! That hurts! Gonna leave a bruise on my arm.”

“Would you like one on the other, to match? Oh! We’re moving again. Why are you closing your eyes? I didn’t know that you’re afraid of heights.”

“Not the height. Can’t look at the skyline. I mean, it’s so different from up here. So, chaotic.”

“Those dastardly city planners! I mean, why didn’t they consult you, before allowing such diversity. Jake?”

“Ya?”

“We’re descending. You can look, now.”

“Oh, good. I need to get out of here, ‘cause those corn dog signs are crooked.”

“Don’t look.”

“Don’t look, Fred? You do realize that by saying that, I won’t be able to unpaste my eyes from them. The ground!”

“Hey, Jake. The ride is hardly stopped! You can’t just, sorry folks! He doesn’t mean to shove. He’s just gotta follow the straightest path to the car. Oh man, why through the fountain?”

“I found it Fred! You did a great job parking in section ‘B’! It’s number two in the alphabet, and the bumps are symmetrical. But why, oh why, did you have to buy a hatchback? Five doors? Really?”

“It came out to an even 14,000, after tax. Thought you’d be happy about that, at least. Hey, you know what comes in pairs? Feet! Yours in particular. Get the picture? What’s that? ”

“What’s? Hey! You locked me out! Why are you pointing to the backseat? It’s  got a bench seat, three seatbelts, and way too close to that weird hatch thing. Oh, alright.”

“Umm . . . can you change the radio volume to an even number, please. Ah yes. No! Yes! Knock it off! I can see your crooked smile in the smudgy rearview, you know!”

***On the side***

How many of you actually counted the cars on the ferris wheel? 🙂