#BadMoonRising – Guest post and about Teri Polen

Teri Polen of Books and Such blog hosts #BadMoonRising, a terrific series of posts about horror, supernatural and dark fantasy books, that runs for the whole of October every year. Whew! What an undertaking. Hats off to Teri.

I am one of the participants of Bad Moon Rising and you can read my post here: https://teripolen.com/2020/10/16/badmoonrising-through-the-nethergate-by-roberta-eaton-cheadle-ya-horror-paranormal/. Thank you, Teri, for hosting me.

About Teri Polen

Teri Polen

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat. Sarah, her debut novel, was named a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Sarah by Teri Polen

“The writing style and general creepiness reminded me of Diary of a Haunting, which I would recommend to anyone who enjoyed this book.” –Barnes and Noble

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

My review of Sarah

I listened to the audio book of Sarah by Teri Polen. I thought the reader did a good job and narrated the story at a good pace and with sufficient expression and interest factor to keep the listener engaged.

I thought this book was really creepy. It is a YA book and the characters are all older teenagers which I think worked well for this plot as teenagers, particularly males, do not see risk and are likely to react to situations with a lot more bravado than an adult would in the same circumstances. The almost underhanded and devious way the ghost of Sarah, a murdered school girl, introduces herself to Cain, a jock with a kind heart, lets you know in a subtle way right up front that this is not a particularly friendly ghost and that there is more to her than initially meets the eye. 

Cain has assumed the role of man of the house after the death of his father and is protective of his Mother and much younger sister. His compassion, youth and naivety does not stand him good stead in identifying the potential threat posed by Sarah although, as he finds out more about her death, he gradually realises that she is after retribution against her killers and is not looking for help to move on from her current status.

The author’s descriptions of Sarah as she becomes more and more evil and travels further down the path of revenge are very vivid and disturbing. Sarah’s evil thoughts and deeds are reflected in her ghostly face and form. 

Fortunately for Cain, he has good friends on his side in the form of Finn, an intelligent and clear minded childhood friend, and Lindsey, a lovely young lady with an aunt who deals in the occult and is able to provide talismans and assistance in fighting Sarah as she becomes more deranged and angry. The clairvoyant aunt was a bit convenient but I did not detract from the story for me.

Purchase Sarah by Teri Polen

#Thursdaydoors – Duxford Air Museum

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). 

The Imperial War Museum Duxford is near Duxford in Cambridgeshire, England. It is Britain’s largest aviation museum housing nearly 200 aircraft, military vehicles, artillery and minor naval vessels in seven main exhibition buildings.

These photographs of various aircraft are from our visit in 2016. They all have interesting doors.

You can join in the Thursday Doors challenge here: https://miscellaneousmusingsofamiddleagedmind.wordpress.com/2020/10/15/thursday-doors-october-15-2020/

#Bookreview – Dark Divinations, a paranormal anthology

What Amazon says

It’s the height of Queen Victoria’s rule. Fog swirls in the gas-lit streets, while in the parlor, hands are linked. Pale and expectant faces gaze upon a woman, her eyes closed and shoulders slumped. The medium speaks, her tone hollow and inhuman. The s�ance has begun. Join us as we explore fourteen frightening tales of Victorian horror, each centered around a method of divination. Can the reading of tea leaves influence the future? Can dreams keep a soldier from death in the Crimea? Can a pocket watch foretell a deadly family curse? From entrail reading and fortune-telling machines to prophetic spiders and voodoo spells, sometimes the future is better left unknown. Choose your fate.Choose your DARK DIVINATION.With stories by: Hannah Hulbert, Ash Hartwell, Joe L. Murr, Emerian Rich, Naching T. Kassa, Michael Fassbender, Jon O’Bergh, Stephanie Ellis, H.R.R. Gorman, R.L. Merrill, Rie Sheridan Rose, Daphne Strasert, Alan Fisher, and Jeremy Megargee.

My review

I am a fan of anthologies as they are a great way to find new writing talent, but I usually find there are one or two stories I don’t enjoy. That was not the case for this anthology which included fourteen short stories that were all of a very good quality and all of which had a unique and interesting storyline.

The common theme for this anthology is the inclusion of a method of divinations and there were some fairly different ones such as fortune-telling machines and a pocket watch. Every story was dark and creepy and kept me on the edge of my seat.

My three favourite stories in this anthology are as follows:

The Pocket Watch by Emerian Rich – Gretchen, a beautiful red-head and the daughter of a wealthy family from Manhatten, has married the young and handsome, Lord Windemere and relocated to his family estate in England to start her married life. Soon after their arrival, her new husband gives her the gift of a pocket watch from his deceased mother. Gretchen soon discovers that the pocket watch contains a dark secret and the key to her survival;

Miss Mae’s Prayers by H.R.R. Gorman – A young preacher and his heavily pregnant wife are woken up in the early hours of the morning by a member of his rural congregation who desperately wants the preacher to read him a couple of verses from the Bible. The anxious man is even more disturbed when the reading is over and vows to go back to the elderly woman who gave him the Bible references with an indication that they related to his future. The preacher, who has heard other stories about the old woman, known as Miss Mae, decides to seek her out and speak to her about her witchery. His mission has most unintended consequences;

Broken Crystal by Rie Sheridan Rose – Young Molly has a gift, she has The Sight, and her mother is determined to use it to make their fortune. Molly changes her name to Madame Rose and starts to give consultations for which she charges. Molly is a kindly girl and feels conflicted about taking money from very poor and needy people. One day a rough and angry man comes to her from a consultation following the elopement of his son. The consultation follows a different path with a unique outcome for both the father and Madame Rose.

Purchase Dark Divinations

Dark Divinations by [Naching Kassa, Hannah Hulbert, Ash Hartwell, Joe Murr, Rie Rose, Michael Fassbender, Jon O'Bergh, Stephanie Ellis, H.R.R. Gorman, R.L. Merrill]

Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086YD6DR9

Open Book Blog Hop – Food, glorious food!

What is your favorite fruit dish? Can you share a recipe for it? Do you include food in your stories? While we’re talking about food, pumpkin, yea or nay?

My favourite fruit dish is apple pie. I particularly like the recipe given to me by my husband’s grandmother which has a very unusual and tasty sweet pastry.

If you would like the recipe, you will find it at the end of my free Sir Chocolate story book here: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/free-story-the-marzipan-witch-and-the-golden-swan/. In case you don’t know, Robbie’s Inspiration is my baking and fondant art blog.

I do have a tendency to include food quite often in my stories. Why wouldn’t I? People do most of their socialising over meals – well, they do in my family and among my friends group.

I included apple pie in Through the Nethergate when Henry Scarle, a ghost who has recently reincarnated as a result of Margaret’s unique abilities, tries food for the first time in 400 years.

This is the extract:

““Why don’t you try something,” Margaret said suddenly. “You have a physical body now, you may well be able to enjoy food even if you don’t need to eat to sustain yourselves.”

Henry looked delighted at the thought and decided to order apple pie and cream. The pie looked delicious and he wanted this experiment to be worthwhile in case it made him ill afterwards. Lizzie didn’t order anything. She would see how the food agreed with Henry first.

“At least one of us has to be in guaranteed working order,” she said.

Food comes up quite often in my forthcoming novel, A Ghost and His Gold.”

This is an extract from the war experience of Pieter, a Boer [a Boer is an Afrikaans farmer in South Africa], just before he leaves with his brother, Willem to fight in the war against Britain:

“Sannie was famous for her potjiekos, a rich stew comprising of beef, potatoes and plenty of vegetables which she cooked slowly, in a three-legged cast-iron pot, over hot coals until the meat was tender and the vegetables soft.

Pieter’s meals for the past few days had comprised of rusks, dried bread and biltong with water from their water-skins, and his mouth watered as the rich fumes from the stew wafted through the house.

When the meal was ready, Pieter and Willem tucked into the food with gusto, knowing that they were unlikely to enjoy such a good meal again for a while. The main course was followed by Sannie’s home-made melktert, a traditional dessert consisting of a sweet pastry crust containing a custard filling made from milk, flour, sugar and eggs, and sprinkled with cinnamon.”

Ina Paarman | Shin and Oxtail Beef Potjie
Picture from Ina Paarman’s recipe for shin and oxtail beef potjie: https://www.paarman.co.za/all-recipes/shin-and-oxtail-beef-potjie/

I like pumpkin but only as a savoury dish. I enjoy it with a rich gravy or in a potjie or stew.

Do I cook, I hear you asking. Well, yes, maybe a little and I bake a great deal. I love to make exotic cakes. You can find out more about my baking on Robbie’s Inspiration.

What do other bloggers think about this week’s prompt. You can find out by clicking on the link below.

Rules:

  1. Link your blog to this hop.
  2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
  3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
  4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
  5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party! Click here to enter

#RRBC #4WillsPub Through the Nethergate tour – Charles W Jones

Author Charles W Jones is hosting Day 6 of my Through the Nethergate tour. Thanks you, Charles. You can read the post here: https://charleswjonesauthor.com/welcome-to-day-5-of-the-through-the-nethergate-blog-tour-robertaeaton17-4willspub-rrbc/

Giveaways

GIVEAWAY:  (3 winners) (1) e-book copy of “NIGHTMARELAND”, (1) e-book copy of “THROUGH THE NETHERGATE”, and (1) $25 Amazon gift card. (leave a comment to enter on Charles’ blog)

About Charles W. Jones

I  grew up in a small town of five hundred people in Wyoming that everyone always pronounces wrong or spells incorrectly, Shoshoni (show show knee); I swear it’s a real place. My first novel, Dreamwalker: The Second Plain, is LGBTQ+ as are HOME and Daughter of Illusion. My other books include the Circus Tarot Trilogy (it’s Clowns and Tarot, what’s not to love), Hunger, Hydrangeas on the Lanai and Darkness is Coming. And last, but not least, I have two anthology collections, An Unnamed Acquaintance and Liaisons Macabre. Oh, yeah, I currently live with my husband of twenty-one years in Colorado with our three cats, ten crested geckos, and one saltwater fish tank.

You can find out more about Charles’ books here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08C8T5SSH

The Road to Saratin

The world had already begun to change, in ways Carl had no idea were possible, when the voices began speaking to him on the night of his sixth birthday. When Carl’s mom contacted Dr. Emerson Sharod at the Freedom Institute, she had no idea that the time she cherished with her son would end.

Twenty-two years later, the voices urge Carl to leave the Freedom Institute after a man is slain under suspicious circumstances. He doesn’t question them and naively crosses the threshold into the city of Montford, where he knows no one. A few help him, risking their safety, so he can escape the walled city and begin his trek to find his mom in Saratin.

The world outside the walls is stranger than the city with unknown dangers at every step, though not everyone is a foe. Along the way, he meets many who help him and share stories about what caused the changes in the world. When he reaches Base 40, he comes face to face with Astrid, who rescued him from freaks on the first day of his travels. He is worried that she will tell the baser leader, Corporal Phelps, that he’s the escapee from the Freedom Institute, but she does not.

After an uncomfortable meal with Corporal Phelps, Carl shares his story with Astrid. She agrees to take him to Saratin. Reaching the tent city outside the walls of Saratin, they search for refuge and are taken in by Kenneth who is partially responsible for the chaos in the world. The safe place is quickly infiltrated by Corporal Phelps, and they are taken back to Base 40 where Carl witnesses the Corporal torturing Astrid. In a moment of anguish, Carl remembers something he was told and puts together a plan to save Astrid and himself, and, unknowingly, the world.

A 5-star Amazon review of The Road to Saratin

Dystopian fiction is not my normal genre, but this book made a refreshing read as it was so different.

The story follows Carl, a man haunted by myriad voices in his head since the age of six. We join him twenty-two years later in the Freedom Institute. He knows little of the devastation that overtook the world not long after his incarceration, or of the freaks and mutants that roam outside the three remaining cities. His world has become limited to the doctor who “treats” him and the daily tasks he performs, but everything changes when a colleague dies and suspicion falls on Carl.

In an intricate storyline, the voices urge him to leave his institutionalised life. They guide him along a path of twists and turns, away from the city of Montford. He aims to find his long-lost mom in another of the surviving cities, Saratin. His many encounters and adventures make for an intriguing, if sometimes disturbing, read. The ending is surreal but satisfying.

This book is a real page-turner and stretched my imagination. It surprised me what can be achieved within this post-apocalyptic style of writing.

Thursday Doors – Standard Quay in Faversham

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). You can join in here: https://miscellaneousmusingsofamiddleagedmind.wordpress.com/2020/10/08/thursday-doors-october-8-2020/

My aunt and cousin both lived in Faversham in Kent, UK, until about two years ago. Whenever we went to the UK, we based ourselves in Faversham so we got to know this quaint English town quite well. These are pictures from April 2016 taken at Standard Quay.

PS I know its Friday and not Thursday but I ran out of time to post yesterday.

Entrance to the pub where we had cider
Entrance to a shop on the Quay
Door to one of the house boats
My mother, the boys and Terence in front of a house boat

#RRBC #4WillsPub Through the Nethergate tour – Nonnie Jules and a Youtube video

The lovely Nonnie Jules is hosting day 4 of my Through the Nethergate tour on her blog Watch Nonnie Write. Thank you, Nonnie. You can read the post here: https://nonniewrites.wordpress.com/2020/10/08/welcome-to-day-4-of-the-throughthenethergate-blog-tour-robertaeaton17-rrbc/

Nonnie and her team at 4 Wills Publications have created an amazing Youtube video for this book which you can see here:

About Nonnie Jules

Hi, I’m Nonnie Jules – President & Founder of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {RRBC} and RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS {RWISA}.  As a writer who values the (polished) written word, it is my mission to help my fellow authors understand that their reputation as a writer should be treated as a rare treasure and that the only way to be taken seriously in this business, is to ensure that your writing (no matter the forum) is impeccably written and well-edited.  If not, you’re just another “Joe” with a pen who was the first to raise his hand when Amazon asked:  “Hey, any old Joe out there wanna publish a book?  Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be good and there’s absolutely no hard work involved.”

FYI:  If you don’t care what you put out into the world, you’re just a laughing stock in the literary community … and your name is “Joe.”

Connect with Nonnie via…

Twitter:  @NonnieJules

Facebook

Website:

Books By Nonnie

Blogs:

Watch Nonnie Write

Ask The Good Mommy

RWISA Profile

One of Nonnie’s great books is No Pedigree.

NO PEDIGREE: A Really Short Story by [Nonnie Jules]

My 5-star Amazon review for No Pedigree

It is an irony that I read this book the week after I finished reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald with its two central themes of the wealthy in American not being accountable for their actions and how the America dream of equality for all and an ability for people who have ability and who work hard to attain social status regardless of their backgrounds.

This short story, No Pedigree, explores these same two themes but in a modern setting rather than Fitzgerald’s setting of the 1920’s. I could help thinking, as I read this book, how tragic it is that 100 years later these same themes of prejudice, abuse and unfairness are still prevalent in some parts our society.

Baylee Pierre is a young girl of extraordinary beauty and sound intellectual ability who ends up attending a high school in a wealthy area populated by privileged youngsters and their families. Baylee is different from her peer group in that she is the child of a black native American mother and a white father and also, her mother is the housekeeper of a one of the wealthy residents of the school’s feeder area who allows Baylee’s mother to use her home address to register her daughter at the local school. Baylee’s mother thinks she is doing the best for her daughter by giving her this educational opportunity, but her spoiled rich school school associates don’t give her an opportunity to become part of their world and Baylee is ostracised in the most cruel way right from the start.

There is one girl, Carson Beckett, who is different and who becomes best friends with Baylee. Carson puts herself out on a limb to support Baylee against the majority. I enjoyed this touch in the book because it made it even more real and possible, as there is good out there and it was nice to have it recognised and this bit of positiveness gives the story some good balance.

Baylee is subjected to the most horrific treatment any person could suffer and due to her mother’s limited finances, she is not initially able to seek the justice the situation clearly warrants.

To bring my thoughts back around to my initial comments about The Great Gatsby, this book ends on a positive note with a clear indication, through the change in Baylee’s circumstances depicted in the book, that there has been some progress and movement towards the American dream being more attainable for all. There are good people out there who aren’t filled with prejudice and who embrace difference and enable progression for all.

#Bookreview – Guns of Perdition by Jessica Bakkers

What Amazon says

IT TAKES GRACE TO HUNT WHEN IT’S DARKSOME

Jessie expects he’ll be forever cleaning up after the cowpokes of the Bad Hoss Saloon. That’s until the day a drifter strides through the doors, and blows away a blood-sucking demon, along with Jessie’s belief in an everyday world. Jessie is captivated by the enigmatic Grace, with her pearl-handled revolvers, and wolf companion. He throws in his normal life and follows her across the Wild West, as she hunts down and slays the evil creatures that roam the frontier.

Along the way, they seek the aid of a Native American warrior, cross paths with a Cajun Queen, and encounter a small-town tycoon with a deadly hunger for gold. Animosity and distrust plague Grace and Jessie, and their strange group of allies, but they must put their differences behind them if they’re to have any hope of finding and defeating the frontier’s true evil, the Darksome Gunman.

The Armageddon Showdown is a dark-fantasy, weird western series of epic proportions, focusing on the age-old battle between good and evil, though in the Wild West, it’s not always clear just who is good and who is evil.

Join Grace Dyer and her band of miscreants as they battle demons and demi-gods, in the frontier’s deadliest conflict…the Armageddon Showdown.

My review

The only other book I’ve read that would seem to fit into this genre is The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. His books did come to my mind, once or twice, while I read about this strange and frightening Western-based world created by Ms Bakkers.

Jessie is a young and innocent boy of seventeen when Grace Dryer, a bounty hunter with a penchant for hunting dark and evil creatures, walks into the saloon where he is working as a clean-up boy. His employer is unpleasant and selfish and so when Jessie makes a decision to help Grace and one of the prostitutes, who turns out to be an evil creature, is killed, he steals a horse and follows her into the wilderness to escape his current life.

Jessie quickly gets introduced to Grace’s unusual thoughts on accountability which basically boil down to a belief that creatures that act in a certain way due to instinct are not evil. They are merely behaving as they were effectively programmed to do by their creator. In Grace’s initial estimation, it is a choice to kill and act in a malicious and heinous manner that makes a creature or person evil. These initial introductions by the author to her interpretation of good versus evil continue and develop throughout the book as Ms Bakker’s leads the reader towards the religious based climax of this book.

The characterisation of Jessie was interesting and the author was clever as she portrayed his loss of innocence and the change in his character as previously unexperienced emotions such as jealously crept into his mind and heart. Some of Jessie’s decisions and actions were initially unexpected but it all comes together nicely by the end of the book.

Grace is a conflicted character and the reader vacillates between seeing her goodness and some of her poorer decisions and darker actions. The unfolding of her backstory in this book is well done and shed’s light on some of her characteristics and behaviours. Grace develops trust in Jessie which was rather an interesting plot twist.

On the whole, this is a well written and clever story and I cannot fault the editing in any way. People who enjoy weird creatures and horror will love this story but it is not for the squeamish as there are some scenes that are detailed and harsh on a reader’s stomach.

Purchase Guns of Perdition

About Jessica Bakkers

Jessica Bakkers

I am a creative writer with over twenty years of writing experience. I am a speculative fiction writer, and have written in the genres of fantasy-romance and paranormal-romance, however my genre of choice when it comes to writing for myself is dark fantasy where I can allow myself to fully explore the anti-hero characters that pepper my stories. I dabble at poetry and have written professionally for clients locally and internationally.

My debut novel, Guns of Perdition, The Armageddon Showdown Book 1, is a dark fantasy stroll through a weird wild west setting, pitting bad heroes against worse villains.

My major love affair is with the written word; specifically creative writing. I allow myself to indulge and rendezvous with this secret lover whenever time allows… and then we make beautiful poetry together!

#RRBC #4WillsPub – Through the Nethergate tour – Joy Lo-Bamijoko

Author Joy Lo-Bamijoko is hosting me for Day 1 of the Through the Nethergate tour. Thank you, Joy!

You can read the post here: https://jinlobify.com/2020/10/05/welcome-to-day-1-of-the-through-the-nethergate-blog-tourrobertaeaton17-4willspub-rrbc/

GIVEAWAY:  (3 winners) (1) e-book copy of “NIGHTMARELAND”, (1) e-book copy of “THROUGH THE NETHERGATE”, and (1) $25 Amazon gift card.

About Joy Lo-Bamijoko

Joy Nwosu was born in Enugu, Anambra State of south-eastern Nigeria. Her parents were Charles Belonwu and Deborah Nwosu. She is the fifth in rank of the seven children of her parents. Joy was born into a music family.

Joy, now retired, was a music teacher, trained in Santa Cecilia, Rome, and obtained her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Michigan, USA.

She has written and published extensively on national and international scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. 

Her short story I Come from Utopia was published in African Voices, Spring/Summer, 2007, pg. 18, and her first English novel; Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women was published in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Contest in 2012. She has also two books published in the Italian language.

Joy is a trained musician, and taught music for 35 years.  She writes, performs, and record folk songs.
Her new book: The Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies, which has just been released, is a journey into the mysteries of life and death of the Igbos of Nigeria.  She loves reading romances and mystery stories.

Joy’s books

Joy has a variety of wonderful books for adults and children. You can find them on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Nwosu-Lo-Bamijoko/e/B00IYVFPMU

Pregnant Future: No One Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring Kindle Edition

A 5 star Amazon review of Pregnant Future by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

Beginning in 1954 in Nigeria, Justina’s world introduces us to customs I was not aware of, and relished throughout the book. Her treatment was deplorable. School boys ambushed her, determined to beat her for being smarter than they were in school. Their hatred for her grew. My heart went out to her as she endured yet other beatings provoked by a manipulating sister. Justina learned survival at an early age. Determined to finish her schooling, she continued only to lose her place in college due to a wealthy students parents buying their child Justina’s spot. Grasping for any education available to her, she tries to take the exam to enter Holy Rosary College, although she is not on the list to even take it. Her strong will and faith grow. She tells the truth against others advice and finally is accepted at the college. Her relationships are leery as friendships proved only to have someone after what Justina could provide them. Used often, she still wanted friends. Travels to other countries proved her friends weren’t true friends to her, Alfi in particular. Men still tried to use her also. Someone was always trying to control her. After her baby died, her maturity reached new heights, and she realised her life was much better by living alone. Yes, I agree with Author Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko: Justina’s mistakes and challenges are lessons for all to learn by, but I also noticed how Justina’s persistence displayed a strong willed person not settling for a future she would not be happy with. The steps she took for a better future are remarkable. I highly recommend this book!

Writing about bathrooms

My blogging pal, H.R.R. Gorman recently wrote an interesting post about including bathrooms and bathroom scenes in novels. You can read her post here: https://hrrgorman.wordpress.com/2020/10/01/5-tips-for-writing-about-bathrooms/

This post made me think about bathroom scenes and whether or not I have used them in my books. I realised that I have used them rather often. Here are a few extracts from my books that are about toilets and bathrooms:

From A Ghost and His Gold – Adult supernatural history COMING SOON!

“Every morning, when the family passes the tents belonging to a group of Bywoners on their way to the latrines, which are nearly half a mile from the main body of the camp, Estelle is obliged to listen to Marta loudly expressing her disgust at having to live in a camp with such dirty people.  

“Look at the ground around their tents,” she complains. “It’s soiled with slops and rubbish because they are too lazy to dig a hole near the fence and bury it. They don’t even use the latrines; they just do their business wherever they want to; it is completely unhygienic, and they are putting us all at risk of typhoid and other illnesses.” 

In some ways, Estelle doesn’t blame them for not using the latrines which comprise of a mixture of trenches, similar to those used by the army, and a bucket system which was easier for the small children. As she draws near, her gorge rises from the overpowering stench.  Ardrina carries the makeshift chamber pot that the occupants of their tent use during their night and empties it into the latrines. It’s the largest cooking pot that Marta had managed to pack, and keep, on the day the Khakis attacked the farm. The pot is always overflowing by the morning and Estelle finds it revolting, but she is grateful she doesn’t have to try and make her way to the latrines during the night or, even worse, find somewhere to squat away from the tents in the open.” 

From Through the Nethergate – YA supernatural fantasy

“There was only one toilet in the small rest room. Katharine used it first, followed by Lizzie.

Elizabeth was the last to enter the small cubicle. She was washing her hands at the basin when she heard the voice of Sarah Jukes calling her:

“Help us! Help us, Elizabeth.”

Elizabeth looked around, startled. The small space, with its starkly painted white walls and water-stained basin, was empty.

Elizabeth shook her head to clear it and turned the tap on again to rinse the soap off her hands.

“Help us, Elizabeth.” Now the voice of Sarah Newton echoed around the small room, bouncing off the walls. A wave of dread washed over Elizabeth making her shake.

What is wrong in Nabs Wood? Why are the children calling me?

The bright light bulb enshrined in its plain white glass bowl started to expand. Elizabeth watched it grow with astonishment and fear. The light became fuzzy and stretched looking, as if she was seeing it through heavy rain on a dark night.

The other children in Nabs Wood joined in the calling. “Help us, Elizabeth. We need you.”

Their cries boomed inside her head, making her clutch her head in pain. In the centre of the large pool of light, Elizabeth saw Nabs Wood.

The children were standing in a half circle, gazing at her. Their eyes were wild and frightened. Sarah Newton was clutching her face with her small hands, as if she was in a frenzy of fear. They were all calling for her to help them.

She took a step forward into the glowing circle and her eyes widened in horror.”

From While the Bombs Fell – Children’s fiction

“First thing in the morning, Mother emptied the ceramic chamber pots that the family used if they needed to wee during the night.

Next to the cowshed outside, across the dirt yard, stood the family’s toilet, a dark and cold outhouse.

During the winter, Mother lit a paraffin lantern and place it near the pipes to prevent them from freezing during the night. People used newspaper, instead of toilet paper which was unavailable, to clean themselves as best they could.

The chamber pots were usually full to overflowing by the morning and Mother emptied them into a pail and took it across the yard to empty out into the toilet.

Later in the year, during the warmer spring months, the trip across the yard to the outside toilet could be rather hazardous. The cows were turned out to pasture, and this affected their bowels dramatically. At that time of year, sticky greenish cow poo covered the dirt path to the outside toilet, and if you didn’t jump accurately, it could end up a slippery ride! Falling and landing on your bottom in the muck did not bear thinking about.”

Do you use bathrooms and bathroom scenes in your writing?