Posted in Bookish Things, Reading, Writing, Writing Tips

Punctuation Pantry: the Oxford Comma (To Use or Not To Use)

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Let me put forth a public apology to my faithful readers who have not heard from this blog in a few weeks. Wanna know why? No, you probably don’t. Suffice it to say, school happened, then driver’s ed happened, then editing happened, then a whole bunch of other stuff happened . . . 🙂 Blogs are wonderful, but they suffer when our schedules get stuffed. Who can relate?

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. The Punctuation Pantry is back, and we’re here to talk about the Oxford comma. Heard of it? Oh, yeah, I bet you have.

Don’t know what it is? No problem – here goes.

I am sending Sally a get-well card, a potted plant, and a new coat.

(I’d like to have a friend who would think to send all that when I’m sick.) 😉

Did you spot the Oxford comma? It comes after the last item in a list. So, after “potted plant.” Now, the controversy surrounding this helpless little comma is that some style guides require it when others don’t. So you have people who like it and people who don’t.

Now, let’s look at that sentence again, without the Oxford comma.

I am sending Sally a get-well card, a potted plant and a new coat.

Not having the comma doesn’t make that sentence confusing. You can mentally insert the separation of the three items. But let’s look at a different sentence.

She took her cousins, Dominique, and Miss Helen to the local fair.

Got it? Now let’s take the Oxford comma out.

She took her cousins, Dominique and Miss Helen to the local fair.

See the problem? A reader might think her cousins are Dominique and Helen. Now, strictly speaking, you’d need a comma after Helen if those names were her cousins’, but that’s a story for another day.

Personally, yes, I use the Oxford comma. It just makes sense. In some sentences, it feels awkward, in some, it’s unnecessary, but in others, it literally makes the difference between a reader understanding and misunderstanding what you’re saying.

And no, you can’t use the comma in one sentence and not in another in the same story. 🙂 Sorry, but . . . no.

So, now that the Punctuation Pantry has been resurrected, tell me your ideas for what we should chat about in the world of grammar!

Your turn! What is your opinion on the Oxford comma? Do you use it? Let’s chat in the comments!

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Posted in Blog Tag, Bookish Things, Personal, Reading

Welcome to the Kaleidoscope Tag!

So, if you’ve been around this blog for a while, you know I kinda like tags. And the Kaleidoscope tag will be the second I’ve created myself. This is a tag geared towards books and movies. Who can resist? So grab your favorite reading snack and pull up a chair.

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RULES

  1. Link back to the blog which started the tag and also share the graphic above in your post.
  2. Link back to the person who tagged you.
  3. Tag up to five people (or more, if you want).

THE QUESTIONS

BOOKS

1. Name the first book that comes to mind. 🙂

For me, that is A Little Princess, even though I’ve never read the book.

2. What is the first book that comes to mind when you hear the word, “Christmas”?

Actually, a movie comes to mind for me, but since that wasn’t the question I asked, I’ll say A Christmas Carol.

3. What is the last book you gave (or would have given) a five-star review?

I had to go to Goodreads to remember this. 😉 But it was Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. If you read only one book this year, let it be that one. (I read the young adult version, so naturally, that’s the one I’m recommending.)

4. Which book (that you can think of right now) made you feel like you were there with the characters?

To the biggest extreme, also. I’d have to say Unbroken. Maybe it was the story itself, but there were many times that I was RIGHT. THERE. Which made it difficult to get through at times.

5. Think of a favorite author – what is your favorite of their books?

I have several favorite authors. But I’ll pick Nadine Brandes and I’ll say . . . five minutes later . . . Fawkes. Or maybe A Time to Rise . . .

6. What’s your opinion on love triangles?

I really don’t mind them when they’re done well.

7. What’s your opinion on cliches?

Cliches, on the other hand . . . yeah, no. You don’t want me to get started on cliches. Granted, you probably can’t write without at least a few small cliches, but to deliberately build a story off of a cliche and then keep the WHOLE THING embedded in that cliche . . .

 

MOVIES

1. Your all time favorite movie?

That would probably be Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story. It’s the only movie of the series not based strictly on one of the books, and it’s my favorite. The story was AMAZING.

2. Narnia or Lord of the Rings? (Movies, not books.)

Both. 🙂 Okay, Lord of the Rings.

3. Your favorite classic movie?

A Christmas Carolthe George C Scott version. We watch it every year!

4. Your favorite based-on-the-book-by movie?

Since I can’t say A Christmas Carol again, I’ll say A Little Princess. Just saw it recently for the first time in YEARS. I loved it. (The 1995 version.)

5. Your favorite movie you saw in the theater?

Unbroken: Path to Redemption. Or possible The Man Who Invented Christmas . . . (historical, again). Or possibly both.

6. How many movies have made you cry?

Officially . . . none. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t quite a few that could have.

7. What’s the first movie to come to find when you want a movie to make you laugh?

Moms’ Night Out. Enough said.

 

And that’s it! There you have it. Now to tag people . . .

The World Within the Wardrobe

Over the Withers

Lit Aflame

Life Without A Latte

Kate Flournoy

And Jane Maree

Have fun, guys! And spread the word. Also, if you weren’t tagged, consider yourself tagged. 🙂

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Things, Reading

7 Winter Reads To Chase Away the Cold!

Oh, winter is a time for reading! (So she says while she isn’t currently reading a thing.) Hey, I’m editing. That’s a valid excuse. 🙂

But you don’t have that excuse. So here are seven awesome books you should totally be reading this winter.

BITTER WINTER (Jaye L Knight)

Bitter Winter Cover

🙂

I haven’t read it yet, but it just came out, and seriously, that cover.

But it’s book five, so if you haven’t read the series, start with book one.

LACY (Jaye L Knight)

Lacy Cover

Now, while we’re on the subject of Ilyon Chronicles, this one I have read, and I LOVED LOVED LOVED it! It’s pretty short and perfect for a winter day read.

BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA (Lauren Wolk)

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This precious book is middle-grade and perfect for any reader. Seriously. This story is so beautiful! And so is that cover . . .

The friend who recommended this book has also read it at least twice.

UNBROKEN (Young Adult Version) (Laura Hillenbrand)

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I haven’t talked much about this book since reading it, and I should have. This is a true story, and it’s the most powerful, inspiring story I have ever read, ever. Read it when you have time to sit down and not get up for a good long while.

DARE (Tricia Mingerink)

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What can I say? There’s snow on the cover. But aesthetics aside, it’s an awesome story that begins a terrific series. You won’t be able to stop at book one.

WINTER HAVEN (Athol Dickson)

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This book. This. Book. Twists, turns, suspense, and a totally logic explanation at the end that you never saw coming . . .  My kind of book. Prepare to be swept away.

And last but far from least . . .

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Fawkes. What can I say? It was amazing. PERFECT for a winter read because you can just settle in and not move for a while.

Okay, today we’ve got to chat in the comments. What are your favorite winter reads? Have you read any of the books on this list? What’s your favorite kind of book to read when you’re cold- or snow-bound? (Or does that analogy not apply to your part of the world?) 🙂 Readers, let’s chat!

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Release, Book Reviews, Bookish Things, Reading

Ilyon Chronicles and Blades of Acktar Blog Tour! (and book review)

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This is going to be a crazy fun blog tour! Wanna know why? ‘Cause I’m totally panicking right now ’cause I totally forgot about this post today. Because two of my three favorite authors ever are releasing their new books together! So seriously, check out these awesome books. I’m so excited to be part of this.

Bitter Winter Cover
ISN’T THIS AWESOME??????

ABOUT BITTER WINTER

Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.

Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Lacy Cover

ABOUT LACY

The last thing Aaron ever envisioned was falling for a prostitute. Everything about it spells trouble. However, he can’t help noticing the way her smile lights up when she sees him and how much brokenness she hides behind it. Neither can he ignore how desperately she needs rescue and protection.

When Lacy shares a life or death secret with him, Aaron is willing to risk everything to help her and to show her Elôm’s love. Yet, such a choice could destroy his reputation and maybe even cost him his freedom.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JayeLKnight Author PhotoJaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. You can connect with Jaye on her websiteblogFacebookTwitter, and Etsy.

 

MY REVIEW OF LACY (Ilyon Chronicles Novella 5.5) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This book is incredible. We finally get to see from Aaron’s POV. He was a likable character before. Now he’s a favorite. First off, the storyline itself is both difficult to swallow and really, really good at the same time. Jaye’s new character, Lacy, is a prostitute, so that’s naturally going to deal with difficult topics. However, it is handled VERY well, typical of Jaye’s books.
The love story woven in the pages is so beautiful. It unfolds so gently. It’s so real. And the characters! Aaron and Lacy . . . I could go on forever. I’m an official fangirl for their story. 🙂
My only complaint about this book is that it was so short. 😒 I could have read another hundred pages no problem. So the two of them had better be in the next book. 😊

 

 

Decree Cover

ABOUT DECREE

The Adventure Continues.

Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories.

The Blades as They Should’ve Been
A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept what it means to have the man who attempted to kill him as family?

The First Mission
When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help?

To the Far Great Mountains
A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the borders of Acktar. Will they be able to arrest their quarry before they are caught themselves?

From the story of how Leith and Martyn met to Ranson’s search for a life outside of the Blades, these stories will answer plaguing questions and expand the world of Acktar.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country. You can connect with Tricia on her blogFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
PaperbackGiveaway
 Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.) Be sure to stop by each of the character chats (links in the blog tour schedule) for additional giveaways throughout the tour! Follow this link to enter.

Tour Schedule

Friday – December 14 – Release Day for Bitter Winter & Lacy!

Saturday – December 15

Monday – December 17

Tuesday – December 18 – Release Day for Decree!

Wednesday – December 19

 Thursday – December 20

Friday – December 21

Saturday – December 22

 

Posted in Bookish Things, Personal, Reading, Short Stories

Moments Like Glass – a Short Story

I thought I’d share another short story with you guys, since the last one seemed popular with everyone. I wrote this for Faithwriters a couple years ago and it came in third. (Next time I’ll choose something more recent.) Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“What time is it?”

I grit my teeth and pretend not to hear, pretend to be occupied with preparing dinner. Mom . . . please.

“What time is it?”

I glance at the doorway of the kitchen to where her concerned face, a pallor of weather- and labor-worn wrinkles from the decades of farm life, watches mine intently. “Seven o’clock.”

“He’s late. He’s never late, Steven.” Mom turns, her step hobbled, and walks with muttered words out of the room.

I watch her go, my weak composure a trembling pillar. I’m not Steven. I’m not your brother. And Dad’s not coming home. That car wreck did more than take my dad’s life. It took hers, too. I took her in when my sister refused, unable to understand what the problem would be. But with the panic in Anne’s voice whenever we talked about a place for Mom and the doctor’s indelible glum when the words brain and damage floated around, I should have known.

And after the most grueling two years of my life, I can’t face up to the agonizing truth – I can’t take this.

I manage to get the chicken in the oven and the carrots steaming, manage to get in a hushed phone conversation with my girlfriend to let her know the date is off for obvious reasons, manage to feed the cat. I am existing, not living. My unspoken vow to Dad, my unshakable resolve to take care of Mom, has left my life barren.

I’m sorry, Dad. I’m so sorry.

“What time is it?”

Turning away, I squeeze my eyes shut. “Seven-thirty.”

“He’s never late, Steven.”

Here, I must pretend. “He called. He has to go to Dover. He’ll be back later.”

Mom doesn’t answer. I assume she’s gone from the room, and I turn. She stands there in the doorway, her eyes clear and in pain, her lip quavering as she meets my eyes. And here, I endure the insidious torture and the beautiful hope of her frail, infinitesimal moments of perfect clarity. I cross the room to hold her in my arms as I always do, but this time, I cannot stop my own deluge of emotion kept buried during her endless spells of uncomprehending, of living in an age gone by.

“My Cody,” she whispers, and my heart shatters as glass to hear my name from her lips.

“I’m here, Mom.” My voice rasps. “I’m here.”

“Why?”

Why? Because she has nowhere else to go? Because Anne can’t handle even the thought of taking her in? Because I promised Dad?

No, none of these are right. The real reason has kept me afloat, if only just above water, for the last two years.

“Because I love you, Mom.”

She does not answer, and I know this priceless moment will soon be gone, ripped away by the cruel monster that has kept her from me all these many months. But for now, the hope and relief that these moments give to us, if only for a moment, I can dwell within.

“Hey, do you want to do something special tonight?” I ask with a smile.

“Your dad always asked me that question,” she replies, her voice light, and I cling to that relief with her past tense use of ask.

“I was thinking we could make cookies.” Something she used to recruit my help for as a kid, telling me I was the cookie “expert” in order to play into my pride and get me to lend a hand. “You’re the expert,” I add.

She laughs a little, and I can tell she is not fully with me. But we will get through this together. I promised Dad. I promised myself. I promised her. God, there’s only so much of this I can take. I ask for grace.

Tonight, as her moment of clarity, as frail as glass, begins to ebb away, we do something special. Tomorrow, she’ll again think I’m Steven, she’ll worry after Dad, she’ll tell me he is late, that something must be wrong. How many hours will it be before I have my mom back again? How many days?

But tonight, I won’t dwell on tomorrow.

We taste the warm cookies and Mom tells me with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, “We should do this every night.”

~~~~~~

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you think.

Posted in Inspirational, Reading, Short Stories, Writing

Land of Judgment – a short story

I hated the way the other men picked on Papa. He was only doing what he felt sure was right. We were all going the same way, following the same trail – the same dream.

They all said the west was the place of new beginnings. Of prosperity. Of dreams come true. That was what Papa wanted. But what we found . . . it wasn’t what we’d set out for.

“Ya drive them animals too hard, Pickett.” That was Jason Pike. He was the one with the six oxen who scared me the most – he was always totting around that ox whip of his. “Them horses can’t take that. You shoulda brought a yoke eh oxen. They can take the trail. You’ll starve these beasts before they even see the Rockies, ya will.”

The night after Pike warned us, I heard Ma begging Papa to take us back home. Hearing her talk about New York almost made me cry.

But Papa didn’t turn around.

After a few more days, we began to see the horses getting hungrier. They didn’t want what the trail had to offer. Against the men’s warnings, Papa fed them all the oats they wanted from our generous supply. I started to worry about my little pony, the pretty one Papa had promised would be mine in Oregon.

Our wagon was something to see. Ma had made sure every detail was in check. Every curtain tucked away neatly, every piece of china secure, the piano dusted daily. She seemed happy with the order in which she kept our home. But she wasn’t. She pleaded with Papa each night until both were finally brought to tears.

But Papa didn’t turn around.

The horses got worse. They were finicky. The oat supply ran nearly dry before the Rockies. Storms made the wagon miserable to haul, but they also encouraged additional growth in the grass. And still the horses wouldn’t eat it.

The men chided Papa worse and worse, not just on account of the horses, but our wagon too. It was too fancy, they said. It would never survive the trip. Papa returned their bullying with insults. Only the trail captain stood in the way of it getting bloody.

“Ma,” I whispered late that evening while she tucked the baby inside his crib for the night. “I’m scared they’re going to hurt Papa.”

She wouldn’t look at me, but that didn’t stop me from seeing the redness around her eyes, the diminishing of the flesh in her cheeks. “Fear doesn’t help anyone, Ellen May.”

I still feared.

But Papa didn’t turn around.

Near the Rockies, two of our horses went down. One to snakebite, one to starvation. I cried. Ma cried. Baby Joseph cried. Papa did not. He plunged forward, stoic, unchanging, unyielding.

In the Rockies, we lost another. My pony was next. We all saw it. She couldn’t keep up. She was skin and bones. I spent hours searching for new food for her. Hours coaxing her to eat, to drink and eventually to rise. We left her behind in a Rockies’ forest. Papa had wanted to shoot her. Ma and I objected. He relented, but not without words that terrified me. Wolves would eat her alive, he claimed. But I couldn’t bear seeing her die.

“Pray,” Ma said to me, “that God will spare us. Maybe He’ll forgive our sins and remove His hand of judgment.”

Our wagon became too heavy for three horses. We abandoned the piano, the crates of books, the stove, even Ma’s treasured set of china. She never spoke a word.

But Papa didn’t turn around.

All but one family left us to fend for ourselves. We were slowing everyone down with our horses. They refused all grass now. Papa fed them the very last of the oats. Another horse went down within the week.

“Because horses are hard to please,” Ma explained with nary a tear. “We were warned.”

Days passed, one blending into the other. Another step. Another step. We faced forward. We didn’t look back. Was that Oregon I glimpsed as the sun descended one evening? Papa told us it was. We were nearly there.

I saw it as I laid my head down and succumbed to sleep. A beacon of hope in this land of judgment.

 

Thanks for reading, you guys! I wrote Land of Judgment a year or so ago, but it came in second in its category. I love historical fiction! What’s your favorite genre??? Let’s chat in the comments.

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Release, Bookish Things, Reading

Excerpt from Swell Time for a Swing Dance – Blog Tour!

We’re back for part two of the blog tour for Swell Time for a Swing Dance by Cindy Vincent. Part one is back here. Today we just have an excerpt to share from this cool historical fiction/mystery, but be sure to check that first post for details on the giveaway, the rest of the tour, etc.

Excerpt from Swell Time for a Swing Dance
He pointed to a desk where a young woman was pounding furiously on the keys of a black Underwood, with her fingers flying so fast she was a regular tornado on that typewriter. She had a pencil clenched between her teeth like a dog chomping down on a bone. And with her dark hair and perfectly arched eyebrows, she was doing a pretty good impression of Rosalind Russell in the movie His Girl Friday, which featured one of my favorite movie stars, Cary Grant.

I sauntered straight over and stood smack dab in front of her desk. And sure, I knew I was supposed to be here in a professional capacity as an Apprentice P.I., but as soon as I saw her, my professionalism went out the window to make room for the anger that basically took over my mind and body.

Which truly surprised me.

Especially since I consider myself to be a pretty levelheaded girl, one who is very good at keeping her emotions in check. But when I thought about the way P.J. had upset Pete, and how she’d done her level best to publicly ruin his good reputation, I could have gone about ten rounds in a boxing ring with her.

And with all the fury swirling around inside me, I figured I would’ve delivered a knockout punch on the very first swing.

I didn’t even wait for her to acknowledge me. “How dare you write such a libelous article,” I said in a staccato beat. I could practically feel my eyes burning holes into her, with Superman-like heat vision.

She glanced up and the pencil dropped from her mouth. “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. If this ain’t my lucky day. A cold-blooded killer has come to confess. It’ll be the scoop of the century. Here I’ve only been on the job three days, and I’ll be more famous than Brenda Starr. She may be just a comic-book gal but she’s set the bar pretty high for the rest of us.”

“Do you always accuse people of horrendous crimes without a shred of proof?” I shot back. “I hate to burst your bubble, but I didn’t kill anyone. Now I’d like a full apology as well as a written retraction.”

She leaned back in her chair, with a giant grin on her face. “No can do, sister. I’m not about to let this story go. Not when it’s my ticket to the big time.”

“Even if you hurt a lot of other people in the process? Innocent people?”

“Ha! Innocent, my eye! I know a guilty person when I see one. Though just to clarify, I know you didn’t act alone. You had your fella with you. I’m guessing he did the dirty work and you went along for the ride. Am I right? You two are a regular Bonnie and Clyde.”

I crossed my arms and glared at this young woman who was about my age. “I’m afraid you may be in the wrong line of work. Clearly you do a better job of writing fiction, rather than real news.”

“Honey, the more papers I sell, the more my boss wants to keep me around. And considering I’m now in a job that used to be held by a man, I’ve got to prove myself. And so far, I’m on a roll. Thanks to my article, we’re selling almost as many papers as we did the day Japan blew our ships to smithereens at Pearl Harbor. Not too shabby for a girl straight out of journalism school.”

She glanced to the far corner of the room. “I can see the billing now. Small-town girl rises from the steno pool to take the top spot at the City Desk.”

“I thought you said you were fresh out of journalism school.”

“All right, fine. So I’m a little stale, like day-old doughnuts. But it’s close enough. And I’m also close enough to having a regular Maltese Falcon on my hands, when it comes to reporting this story.”

“So, that’s your motto? ‘Close enough’?”

“I don’t know what you’re so sore about. After all, I’m making you famous, too. Did you see your picture in the paper? You looked gorgeous, like a regular Betty Grable.”

“Betty Grable is a movie star. But you’re accusing me of being an accomplice in a murder. There’s a huge difference.”

She shrugged. “Fame is fame.”

“And lying is lying. So where did you get your information? As near as I can tell, Ethel Barton was your only source. Did you even do any background research on her? Her motives for accusing Pete were personal—she’s got a beef with my grandmother.”

“Give the old broad a break, would ya? From what I’ve been told, Ethel has been trying to get her name in the paper for decades. And she was pretty excited when it finally happened. She only wants some fame for herself. Why not make her happy?”

Apparently, I’d been right about Ethel. She wasn’t as upset about the missing statue as she’d let on. She was mostly just enjoying her moment in the spotlight. And the woman sitting behind the desk before me had placed Ethel right in the center of that very spotlight. Which left me once again fighting the urge to take a swing at Miss P.J. Montgomery. “So you made Ethel famous by printing a story that ruins someone else’s reputation. Pete may lose his job. And on top of it all, he’s ready to enlist and go fight for Uncle Sam. Now he’ll probably be denied entry.”

She waved her hand in the air. “Oh, pishposh. I’m making Pete famous, too. And that guy comes from money, just like you do. So he doesn’t even need to work. And why would he want to go off and fight in some silly war when he’ll have women falling all over him here? Because there’s nothing that attracts dames faster than a good-looking bad boy. Why, soon Pete will be more popular with the ladies than Howard Hughes.”

A gasp escaped from my lips. “But he’s my guy!”

She leaned forward, resting her elbows on her desk. “Oh, yeah? The two of you aren’t married, are you? Are you even engaged?”

“Well . . . no . . . we haven’t been dating that long,” I sort of muttered, stumbling over the words, while I wondered why I was even explaining this to her.

She chuckled. “Then get in line, toots. Every single gal in the city of Houston is about to go after him. Heck, I might even take a shot at the guy myself,” she finished with another huge grin.
Copyright © 2018 Cindy W. Vincent

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Release, Bookish Things, Reading

Blog Tour! Swell Time for a Swing Dance by Cindy Vincent

Swell Time Blog Tour Banner

So, for the first time in a while, we’ve got a blog tour on here, this one for a cool historical fiction. Enjoy!

Swell Time for a Swing Dance

About the Book
December 31, 1941. Young Houston socialite Tracy Truworth, Apprentice P.I., can’t
imagine a better way to send off the old year and ring in the new than by dancing
through the night with her fella, Pete Stalwart. But a swell evening soon takes a terrible turn when a fellow dancer with moves like Fred Astaire ends up dead on the dance floor. And before the hands on the clock can point to midnight, a finger is pointed at Pete, accusing him of murdering the young man.

Then after Pete is hauled away in handcuffs, the night goes from bad to worse . . . and
Tracy’s sweet grandmother is accused of stealing an ancient artifact from the museum. Now Tracy must team up with her boss and mentor, Sammy Falcone, in order to find the stolen statuette, unmask the real murderer, and restore the reputations of those she loves the most.

Yet as America becomes embroiled in another world war, the risks and sacrifices
intensify—even on the homefront. And Tracy soon finds her own home invaded by a
near parade of questionable characters, while unsavory suspects lurk in the shadows,
and a ruthless reporter makes her life miserable. With time ticking against her, Tracy
must be willing to swing past the setbacks and hop through the hazards if she hopes to
solve a mystery that involves a lot of dancing . . . and a lot more danger.

Paperback edition Kindle editionGoodreads page

AUTHOR: CINDY VINCENT, M.A. Ed., was born in Calgary, Alberta, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper novels and the Daisy Diamond Detective series. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and an assortment of fantastic felines.

Website | Amazon | Goodreads

Giveaway Prizes

Giveaway!
Time to get “in the mood” with a fun 1940s-themed giveaway! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win a pewter ornament from The National WWII Museum, a Glenn Miller CD, and paperback copies of the first two books in the Tracy Truworth series: Bad Day for a Bombshell and Swell Time for a Swing Dance. Due to shipping
costs and varying international laws, this giveaway is open to US residents (age 18 or
older) only. Good luck!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/15cee39757/

And, don’t forget, this book is going to be free on Kindle for part of the blog tour, so check it out!

Swell Time for a Swing Dance - Freebie Announcement

Monday, October 15
Tour introduction | Seasons of Humility
Review | My Favorite Pastime
Spotlight | Heidi Reads…
Author interview + excerpt | Lisa Ks Book Reviews

Tuesday, October 16
Dancing Through the Pages (guest post) | Seasons of Humility
Character interview | Heidi Reads…
Excerpt | My Favorite Pastime

Wednesday, October 17
A Forties Fascination (guest post) | My Favorite Pastime
Want to Get a Real Feel for the Forties? (guest post) | Life with Katie
Personal post | Carissa’s Bookshelf
Review | Meagan Davenport
Excerpt | Heidi Reads…

Thursday, October 18
Honoring Those Who Were Really There (guest post) | Seasons of Humility
Why I Love the Forties (guest post) | Heidi Reads…
Review | Carissa’s Bookshelf
Spotlight | Hannah Gaudette – Author

Friday, October 19
Review | Life with Katie
Review | Pause for Tales
Author interview | Heidi Reads…
Excerpt | Hannah Gaudette – Author
Review | The Power of Words
Dear Diary (guest post) + review + interview | Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Saturday, October 20
Tour conclusion (winner announced) | Seasons of Humility

Posted in Bookish Things, Personal, Reading

My Top Seven Favorite Fictional Friendships

A month or so ago, Jane did a post like this, and I have borrowed it. 🙂 Thanks, Jane! (Check out her blog – it’s great!)

We all have fictional characters we love even months or years after reading their story, and these are seven of them. Friendships in fiction are fun to write, but probably even more fun to read. Does anyone agree?

(1) Kyrin and Kaden in Ilyon Chronicles

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Kyrin and Kaden are twins, and their relationship is so heartwarming, especially in the first book (that’s book two up there). The series wouldn’t have been the same without them.

(2) Parvin and Willow in the Out of Time Series

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Parvin and Willow’s friendship was so sweet. And then their character development (*cringes over book three*) deepened their friendship. Seriously, people, if you haven’t read these books, read them. That’s an order. 😉

(3) Thomas and Emma in Fawkes

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Did you seriously think you’d get through this list without seeing the masterpiece that is Fawkes? Anyway, Emma and Thomas were awesome, and there were so many dimensions to Emma’s character that came out along the way. They were perfect for each other. 🙂

(4) Merry and Pippin in Lord of the Rings

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Merry and Pippin had such a critical role in Lord of the Rings, and they might as well have been brothers.

(5) Sam and Frodo in Lord of the Rings

Need I say more? Frodo never would have succeeded without Sam, so . . .

(6) Michael and Ostin in the Michael Vey Series

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In the beginning of the first book, Ostin was Michael’s only friend. And from brink of death to brink of death, Ostin never abandoned him. Awesome.

(7) Leith and Renna in the Blades of Acktar

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Let’s face it, Leith and Renna were perfect for each other. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about because you haven’t read the series, read it. 🙂 Anyway, their relationship developed gradually, and I’m really glad it did. It made the whole series even more enjoyable.

So, what are your favorite fictional friendships? Can you attest to any of these? Let’s chat in the comments!

Posted in Blog Tag, Bookish Things, Personal, Reading

The 777 Challenge (drum roll, please)

So, there has been kind of a flood of tags on my blog lately. But I was nominated for this fun little tag by Kate Flournoy. Thanks, my friend! (Check out her blog, by the way, it’s GREAT.)

This tag is simple. Go to the seventh page of your manuscript, count down to the seventh line, and share the next seven paragraphs. So these are seven-ish paragraphs, not from my portal fantasy, but from my contemporary adventure novella, Ashes Remain. You’re probably a little more familiar with One Light Shining than you are with Ashes Remain, if you’re at all new to my blog. And for reasons of poor planning, this is actually a piece of the sixth page, not just the seventh. Bear with me. I know, I know – I’ve been pretty quiet about my writing lately. *shh* But a full explanation shall follow . . . at a later date. 😉

    So it isn’t surprising when I find my older brother fishing through the fridge in the kitchen like a mouse. “Looking for something?”

    Matthew spins on his heel, mock fear in his eyes. “Don’t shoot.”

    Yeah, I have that kind of glare. “I’m making supper tonight.”

    He closes the refrigerator door and grabs a bag of chips off the counter. I snatch them away. “Hey!”

    “No way.” I toss the bag back up into the cupboard. “We’re eating in an hour. Or so.”

    “You can’t blame a person for being hungry.” He attempts to reach behind me to the cupboard, and I slap his hand away. “Come on, Wren.”

    “Forget it. You’re eating my cooking this time, whether you like it or not.”

    We all know the routine. I cook, they run. Every time. It’s not that bad, really.

 

That’s all there is to it! Except you then have to nominate seven people. But that presents a problem for me, since I just nominated eleven people for the Liebster Award. I don’t want to make enemies, so . . . I’m going to leave this one totally up for grabs, except for Anna Hicks, since I did not tag her for the Liebster Award (she tagged me). 🙂 And I shall also tag Paul Willis and Anna at A Storynerd’s Life. Have fun, you guys!

So go ahead and have fun with the 777 Challenge. It’s all yours! And you are hereby required to leave a link in the comments so I can check out your blog . . . and your work-in-progress book!

Let’s chat in the comments! Do you plan to take this challenge? Have you already? Or, do you have any thoughts on this little snippet? Thoughts – good or bad. Seriously. Either is fine.