Ten books that influenced me

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I have not felt very inspired to write prompts at the moment. I don’t want to write about negative things and I can’t think of anything particularly positive for this weeks topics so I decided to rather use an idea for a post that I got from author and English professor, Charles French.

If you don’t know Charles, you should go over and visit his site. He shares great ideas and tips about writing and lots of incentivisation to keep writing no matter what. He also has some excellent novels and non-fiction works.

So, on to my list of ten adult books that have influenced me, in no particular order. If you click on the link, you’ll find my review.

  1. The Stand by Stephen King;
  2. Dracula by Bram Stoker;
  3. Anthem by Ayn Rand;
  4. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane;
  5. 1984 by George Orwell;
  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte;
  7. The Shining by Stephen King;
  8. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  9. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough; and
  10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

You can read Charles’ post here: https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/2020/03/26/10-books-that-influenced-me/

What books have influenced you?

 

Welcome to Day 3 of the “WHISPERS OF THE PAST” Blog Tour! @RobertaEaton17 @4WillsPub #RRBC

I am over at The Indie Joint today with a post about how my life threatening allergy to bee stings inspired my short story, The Last of the Lavender, included in Whispers of the Past.

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Let’s all welcome Robbie Cheadle to the Indie Joint!  It’s her first time here (but, I hope it won’t be her last) so let’s make her feel right at home.

Robbie, as the Warden here, you have all our attention.  It’s not like they can go anywhere so take as much time as you need!  Hahaha

I am terrified of bees. As a child, I never used to worry overly about bees and bee stings, but over the course of my life, each time I have been stung by a bee my bodies reaction has been stronger.

I don’t suffer from anaphylaxis which is when the venom from a bee sting sends the person into shock. My blood pressure doesn’t drop, and I don’t have difficulty breathing. I am one of the rare people in the world who gets a bacterial infection, which quickly leads to blood poisoning, from a bee string.

The first time this happened, I was quite ignorant about what was happening. I got stung on my middle toe by a bee while walking around in the grass outside. It was painful and I took an antihistamine and covered the site of the sting with an antibacterial cream and a plaster. By the following morning, my entire foot was swollen and red. I had a busy workday ahead, so I went to work anyway, wearing a slipper on the affected foot. By mid-day, my leg had swollen up to just below my knee and I felt unwell and feverish. I went home and lay down for the afternoon. When my husband came home, I asked him to take me to the emergency room as I didn’t feel well enough to drive. The doctor diagnosed blood poisoning and I was given a ten-day course of strong antibiotics, cortisone and antihistamines. The doctor thought the infection might have been introduced into my body with the stinger and had nothing to do with the bee itself.

The next time I got stung by a bee, just over a year ago, I initially seemed to be okay. I had recently had a throat infection and had been on antibiotics for a week. I didn’t notice any significant swelling until the following day. My entire foot swelled up as well as my ankle. A red line ran from the site of the sting up my foot and past my ankle. Once again, I had to go to the emergency room and have a 10-day course of antibiotics. I also had cortisone and antihistamines. This time it took three weeks before I could walk properly on my foot.

Continue reading here: https://theindiejoint.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/welcome-to-day-3-of-the-whispers-of-the-past-blog-tour-robertaeaton17-4willspub-rrbc/

The Last of the Lavender 2

#RRBC #Bookreview – Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary After Abuse by Gwendolyn M. Plano

Book reviews

What Amazon says

Inspiring and unforgettable, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a riveting account of a journey through the terror of domestic violence to a faith that transforms all. As a college administrator, Gwendolyn M. Plano lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space–but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced unpredictable threat. The statistics are staggering–every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten–but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer remain silent.

Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, this is a story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s uplifting account of learning how to forgive the unforgiveable, recover her sense of self, bring healing into her family, and honor the journey home. Accompanied by glimpses of celestial beings, Gwen charts a path through sorrow to joy–and ultimately, writes of the one perfect love we all seek.

The story that unfolds is not a blow-by-blow account of savagery hidden within a twenty-five-year marriage; rather, it is a walk through innocent dreams betrayed–to courage found. “Tragedy spares no one;” Gwen points out, “it just courts each of us differently. One way or another, it finds a path into our hearts, and there we do battle with the intruder.” As a survivor who came out of her unhealthy relationship determined to start over, Gwen artfully depicts the challenges of balancing the obligations of motherhood and career with her family’s healing process, while offering hope to anyone facing monumental challenges.

Integral to Gwen’s journey is her faith. Because of her Catholic upbringing, she struggles with the scandal of divorce, but finally makes her peace. When her daughter reveals her molestation by clergyhowever, her fragile sense of serenity dissolves. We walk with Gwen as she tries to make sense of this horror. The agony experienced by the entire family is devastatingly palpable. Against all odds, Gwen emerges confident of her faith and begins to see the threads of meaning in even the darkest moments.

This is a book for all. But, for those who have been in a destructive relationship, Gwen’s story will be heartbreakingly familiar. For those who have been spared such diminishment, it will provide insight into the often misunderstood phenomenon of domestic violence. Since one in every four women will experience such threat in her lifetime, understanding that murky world may provide the reader with the skills needed to help his or her sister or friend or neighbor. Whether victim or friend, though, readers will be inspired by the author’s courage and ultimate resolution of her predicament. And, you may see your own challenges a little differently.

My review

Initially, I found this book quite difficult to read. I am a very determined person who has always been focused on equality for women, so when I first started reading this book it seemed incredible that an educated and attractive woman like the author could become trapped in an abusive relationship, especially for twenty-five years. How could anyone accept such bad treatment? I asked myself. Why didn’t she leave Ron and turn to her family for help? Despite my emotional agitation during the first part of this story, I continued reading because it is completely compelling and beautifully written. As I progressed through the book, I found myself undergoing a metamorphosis as I gained insight into the heart and soul of Gwen, as an abused woman, and how the abuse completely broke her spirit and destroyed her confidence. She didn’t really have a choice about her life. Her ability to make decisions was stolen from her by her circumstances. Not even her protective instinct for her children could overcome the destruction wreaked by her husband.

Gwen was fortunate enough to have people in her life who cared enough about her to work hard on guiding her along the journey of healing and self redemption. She also clearly has a strong character and was able to finally take the necessary steps to free herself and her family from the destructive situation they were all in. Her own abuse was not the only cross Gwen has had to bear in her life and your heart bleeds for her when you discover how some unscrupulous and frankly evil people nearly ruined both her daughter and her own lives.

For me, there were two really pivotal moments in this book. The first was when the author describes herself as living in a box of fears and her unhealthy marriage as being a safe place within this box. By safe place, what she meant is that her marriage, although it was dysfunctional, was at least predictable and there is a strong element of security in predictability. This particular description had a strong impact on me as I realised that most people, myself included, have our own box of fears. It may not be fear of being alone, or being able to support your family alone, it can be many other things, but we all have fears and we all have our crutches that we cling to in an attempt to avoid dealing with our issues.

The other defining revelation for me was when the author explained that our fear and personal anguish is carried in our physical bodies and expresses itself ultimately in pain. If we do not learn to control and cope with our fears, we will never be free of pain and will eventually do ourselves great bodily harm.

This book is a description of the author’s life journey through an initial failed marriage and then into another long-term abusive relationship. It describes the downward spiral in the victim’s mental health and psychological well being. The tone of the story turns when the author starts to recognise the dysfunctional nature of her relationship, not just know, but really understand its destructiveness, and starts taking small steps towards turning her life around.

This is a story of determination and courage, which I came to realise are attained in many different ways and in varied circumstances. I believe that every person in any kind of relationship with their parents, children and partner, can benefit from reading this incredible story.

Purchase Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary After Abuse

Welcome to Day 2 of the “WHISPERS OF THE PAST” Blog Tour! @RobertaEaton17 @StevieTurner6 @4WillsPub

John Fioravanti of Fiora books by John Fioravanti has shared a lovely post by author, Stevie Turner, for the Whispers of the Past blog tour. Thanks you, John.

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Today, it is my pleasure to welcome a group of talented authors who have collaborated in the publication of an anthology of short stories about the paranormal. I’m still learning about this genre, so I’m looking forward to today’s post by my friend, Stevie Turner, who is one of the collaborating authors. Take it away, Stevie!

Author pictures who collaborated on the Whispers of the Past Anthology

About Partners in Time, a short story by Stevie Turner

I am pleased to be part of the Whispers of the Past blog tour, which runs for 10 days from 23rd March. Whispers of the Past is an anthology of paranormal stories from several authors compiled by Kaye Lynne Booth, which also includes Jeff Bowles’ winning entry in the 2019 WordCrafter Paranormal Short Fiction Contest, A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known.

Book Cover for Whispers of the Past Anthology

My story Partners in Time is included in the anthology. I had already written and published the full novel but had got so used to my characters that I didn’t want to let them go. I decided to write an abridged version of the book, but with a different ending.

Partners in Time is a story for fans of time travel. John Finbow, a successful writer, and his wife Kay move into Southcombe Rectory, a large Victorian house that has been empty since the 1960s. It had previously been owned by the Cuthbertson family who had lived there for generations. Their marriage is under strain, as John, 39 would like children before he gets too old, but Kay, 34, does not.

Continue reading here: https://fiorabooksbyjohnfioravanti.home.blog/2020/03/24/welcome-to-day-2-of-the-whispers-of-the-past-blog-tour-robertaeaton17-stevieturner6-4willspub/

Welcome to Day 1 of the “Whispers Of The Past” Blog Tour! @GodsAngel1 @RobertaEaton17 @4WillsPub

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{NOTE:  This is not an RRBC member-tour}

GIVEAWAYS:  (5) e-book copies of WHISPERS OF THE PAST. For a chance to win, simply leave a comment on the authors’ tour page as well as any other stop along the tour. 

I’m pleased to serve as the opening host to this 10-Day multi-author blog tour and the anthology sounds like an intriguing read!  Please help me welcome Kaye Lynne Booth to Watch Nonnie Write! and be sure to snag your copy of WHISPERS OF THE PAST before leaving today!

Kaye, the floor is all yours!

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BOOK BLURB:

A paranormal anthology with nine stories from six authors, including the winning story in the 2019 WordCrafter Paranormal Short Fiction Contest, A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known, by Jeff Bowles.

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The Paranormal by Kaye Lynne Booth

The paranormal. It is fascinating to us. Most of us can relate at least one experience that seemingly can only be explained by paranormal causes. Anyone who has had someone close to them pass may have several which they could tell about. I know I do. I’m a believer because I’ve had encounters that I know came from beyond. I can feel it. Maybe you have, too? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments, if you have one you’re willing to share.

Believers or not, there’s nothing like a good ghost story. Or maybe a tale of the weird and eerie, that raises goosebumps on the skin? It is fun to be scared when we’re in a safe environment where we aren’t in any real danger. That’s the beauty of literature and film. We can live vicariously through the characters without risking any harm to ourselves. I can remember as a kid, going to the theater, and I always chose the scary movies even though I might cover my eyes during the scenes where the bad stuff happened. We are drawn to this genre because the paranormal makes us question reality as we know it.

Continue reading here: https://nonniewrites.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/welcome-to-day-1-of-the-whispers-of-the-past-blog-tour-robertaeaton17-4willspub/

Showing and not telling

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I wrote this little piece this morning. I am trying to show and not tell. What do you think?

“Let’s get started,” the pastor says, gently placing a roll of soft material into Tom’s mouth. “It won’t take long and Tom will feel no pain.”

Ruth attaches several probes to Tom’s temples. The probes are linked to a black box with a dial control on the front of it.

“Prepare to hold his shoulders down, Ruth,” he says. “This is electroconvulsive therapy and he will react.” He twists the dial.

The lights explode with a series of popping sounds and the temperature drops.

Michelle exhales sharply and her breath makes a puffy cloud in the sudden chill.

The box creaks as its sides bow outwards. Crack! It split into two parts. A crackle of blue electricity runs along the cords and the patient on the gurney jerks. Ruth, who was still holding his shoulders, is thrown backwards and crashes into the wall.

Tom’s legs and arms shoot out stiffly, relax, and then shoot out stiffly again.

“Oh my God, Pastor John shouts. “Oh my dear God, what is happening.”

The man on the bed is dancing an electric jig, his eyes are open, but there are no eyes, only a bulging whiteness. His teeth bite down hard on the rolled-up cloth.

“Gaaaaah.” A series of choking sounds escape his mouth and spittle rolls down his jaw.

Snap! Snap! Snap! The electrodes pop off his straining face and fly across the room, hitting the walls and making small craters in the plaster.

Michelle sees smoking black rings where the electrodes had been attached.

“I WIN! YOU CAN’T UNDO MY WORK. CAN’T MAKE HIM WALK AGAIN!” The words echo around the room, bouncing off the stark white walls.

An indistinct shape races around the room and vanishes through the closed window. The room temperature returns to normal and the figure on the bed opens his eyes. Normal blue eyes.

“What happened?” Tom says. “My feet are tingling, ooooooh, it’s driving me mad.” He wriggles in his brace. “I can’t move. Someone rub them for me. Please!”

 

#Flashfiction – Carrot ranch challenge – The Rabbit

Isn’t it nice when inspiration hits immediately and you can write your 99-word piece in 2 minutes flat.

How did the rabbit get on the roof? Did it have wings? Had the whole world gone completely mad and animals suddenly attained previously unknown attributes?

The poor little creature pattered across the hot metal roof, confused and agitated.

A bit like me, thought Laura. Being isolated at home is making me feel peculiar, as if I am the only person in the world or the whole world has stopped except me. Business as usual, but not.

“At least I can do something positive to help the rabbit,” she mutters, heading for the garage to get the tall ladder.

This little piece of inspiration was written for Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge which you can join in here: https://carrotranch.com/2020/03/19/march-19-flash-fiction-challenge-3/