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.
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.
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!
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.
Happy Friday! The long weekend is here, yay! Here is my take on talented Author Suzanne Burkes’ weekly Fiction In a Flash Challenge. Authors are invited to write a short story about the photo shown. Please click on the above link to go to her blog site. Thank you so much, Suzanne for hosting this regular challenge!
“Captain BriIlaagisetogainalihandet! They’re closing in on us!”
“Argh! Landlubber knave! How many times do I hafta’ tell ye, not to call me by that name! It’s hyphnatted now!”
“Shortened! Like yer life, if ya’ call me that agin! It’s Bilgerat that I goes by, on these seas.”
“Um, right, of course. Meant no offense, sir . . . ah, Captain Bilge rat . . . er, I mean Bilgerat. It’s just that, well, do you think it was wise to steal the light house keeper’s secret recipe, for peanut butter brittle? He’s set the Royal Navy on us, and—”
“Ye be a quakin’ in yer booties, I see. Got nary a stomak fer the high stakes game of the buccaneer!”
“Ah, sorry, I’m a bit new at this. Oh hi, by the way, my name’s Rick. My first time working on a pirate ship, and all. We haven’t met, but I know—”
“Pirate! Ne’er use that word on this ship agin, or you’ll be shark chum! Got it! It’s not jus’ fer my sake, but yur’s too. Ya’ know, a man can’t do this fer’ever and some day ye’ll be walkin’ off into the reel world. Git yerself a wench an’ settle down, have a coupl’a kids an’ then you’ll be needin’ a job. ‘Magine puttin’ pirate on the resume! Argh! Best to put buccaneer, sounds best.”
“Um, Okay. Actually, speaking of shark chum, are you quite finished with dragging Bertrand behind the ship. I mean, it’s been a day since he broke into your stash of chocolate coins. You know, the ones you thought were real, until they melted in the sun.”
“Bah! I knew they’re choc’late, scallywag! I did! Don’t ye be eyeballin’ me that way. Who told ya’ that lie? Argh! Ne’er mind! Firs’ n’ fourmos’, do not be questionin’ my discipline means. Secondly, he’s floatin’ on a piece of crate from the croissants we stole from the French bakr’y. But yer right ‘bout that. He’s slowin’ us down, so best to cut ‘im loose. Take your sword, lad.”
“Wait! Bertrand makes delicious waffles, and he knows where to get the best cream and strawberries.”
“I know’ ya’ picaroon! It’s jus’ an espression! The blade is fer the ‘gulls. Keeps ‘em from getting too close an’ usin’ yer ‘noggin’ fer an outhouse!”
“Oh, yes, Master, Bilgerat. Nasty things, those birds. But before I go, I want to—”
“What? Know ‘bout if it was worth the recipe? Yay, I say! My Nanna used to make it best, and this here keeper says his is better, it’s all o’er the seven seas! See my tooth? The last one, and I’ll not be wastin’ it on brittle with the taste of sea glass. I swore an oath to dear Nanna, that I’d steal the recipe and find the truth. If it’s better, I’ll burn the recipe. No one bests Nanna!”
“Oh, you’re doing this all for your Grandmother, how swee— I mean swashbuckling, of you. But there’s one more thing.”
“Speak of it, then shutpan your mouth, an’ do as your told!”
“Well, um, how do I put this, you seem to be moderately good, sort of, at your job. You turn that large wheel thing, like a pro, but perhaps you need some brushing up on your navigational skills.”
“Ye be talkin’ yerself to the plank. Can ya’ swim?”
“Um, I don’t think that’ll be necessary, either the plank or the swim.”
“Nec’ary! I’ll tell ye’ what is that! As long as yer under these sail’s, I be tellin’ ye what’s that!”
“Okay. Fair enough, but I think someone might have a slightly different opinion.”
“An’ who might that scallywag be? I’ll send him to the Locker!”
“Oh, that would be the lighthouse keeper. You see, we did a full circle and—”
“My ship! Weigh anchors! Argh! It be too laaaatttteee!!!”
Happy Thursday! Hopefully, those of you who’ve partaken in whatever form of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations that COVID regulations have allowed, are now recovered.
Today I’m reviewing, Breathless, A Short Story, by Yvette M. Calleiro.
Here’s what Amazon says:
What if the fairy tale kiss that always awakens the damsel in distress takes a sinister turn? What if prince charming’s kiss no longer produces a happily ever after?
Silena’s infatuation with William hits a speed bump when he rejects her. After all, she is just a maid, and he is a young, rich aristocrat in the 1920s. Why would he have any desire to waste his time with the help?
On one particularly lonely day, Silena calls upon her magic to transform into a sexy flapper for the night. Her dream to enjoy one night with William is finally in her grasp, but her magic comes with consequences that neither William nor Silena could ever imagine.
I must admit that the romance genre is not typically my thing, but after a glimpse of this blurb, I thought, why not?
Needless to say, I was glad I did. This quick read story was entertaining. The main protagonist was likeable, and easy to sympathize, while the antagonist was self-indulgent.
However, by the end of the story, I felt an ounce of sympathy for the antagonist, as well. I’ll not say any more about the matter, to avoid a spoiler.
What I enjoyed most about this story, was the fact that it didn’t follow the typical “Happily ever after,” of all those Disney cartoons I grew up watching. This was raw, with bitter consequences of wise advice not heeded, and a few of the seven deadly sins committed.
I wouldn’t hesitate to read other material written by this author. Well done, Yvette! I throw you, FIVE STARS!
Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). She’s also been known to ride the stationary bike at her gym for hours while reading anything from paranormal to fantasy to suspenseful thrillers.
When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.
Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her beautiful son who enjoys paranormal and adventurous stories as well. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve arrived at March 3, already. Seems like a blink since we were in our homes, ringing in 2021, COVID style. As vaccinations roll out and the most vulnerable are innoculated, we cling to the hope of showing this pandemic the back door.
While you wait, here’s a few photos and captions that I hope will take your mind off things. Enjoy!