Guest Post: Ollie, Dad’s Dog

I have got to make this quick. Dad’s in the bath, and has left himself logged on.
I put my photo here so you will know it is me.

I need your help. You all have to write to Dad, and tell him stuff for meeeeeeeeeeeeee
(Sorry about that, not easy to use this with paws.)

Don’t let him know though, as he doesn’t know I can use spellcheck.

First, I would like to have two dog sausages at night. One just doesn’t hit the spot. I stand and stare at him, but he doesn’t seem to realise he should give me two.

And those dry pellets he puts in my bowl. How would he like to have to eat those every day, even with some slices of chicken on top?

Tell him to give me just the chicken, and a lot more of it.

Now I admit that I have a lot of toys, but some more new ones would be nice. Why don’t you suggest that he gets me new toys? Don’t mention I asked though.

I am always a good boy, and keep out the way when Dad is eating his dinner. But when he is having some biscuits later on, I reckon he should give me more than one. He says that I have already had my Bonio Biscuit, but that’s not as nice as a tasty digestive is it?

Say something about my walks too. Dad seems to hate the mud, and when it is bad, he only stays out with me for two hours. Why don’t you tell him to make it four or five hours? It’s all right for him to come home and type in the office or watch the TV, but all I can do is go to sleep. I would like to stay out all day, until it is time for my dinner.

Tell him that please.

If I get the chance, I will let you know if it has worked!

Love, Ollie. xx

Guest Post: Shaily Agrawal

https://fishinthetrees.home.blog/

I am delighted to have received a guest post from Shaily, in the form of a poem.
Shaily is a committed and engaged blogger, and was recently featured as a character in my last fiction serial.

Here is her own short bio.

Author Intro:
Shaily Agrawal is an Instructional Designer, working mother and small-town woman with a skewed perspective.

This is her unedited guest post.

Poetry: The Ripple Effect

I am numb—

Serene sea.

One walks in and

Offers condolence—

A drop that sends ripples

Across me.

Then come the tidal waves

Of reality

Crashing against my being.

I try to reply

But tears rise and choke me.

I inhale to calm down.

But the stormy sea knows no bounds.

I go under—

Drowning the illusion of restraint,

Once again.

I turn to hide

Lest the world may see

What a wreck

You have made of me.

Wait until the numbness returns.

And I’ll, again, be the serene sea.

If you would like to read more from Shaily, including her unusual ‘Tiny Stories’, please follow the link below the image above.

Guest Post: Daniel Scott White

Today I bring you a post from the American writer, Daniel White. He is a published author and blogger as well as owning the magazines shown in the links, and the Thinkerbeat Reader website. If you have ever wondered why your stories might have been rejected in the past, or if anyone will ever publish them, this article will be very helpful.

Daniel’s bio and extensive experience.

Experience

The Thinkerbeat Reader
CEO
Dates Employed Sep 2012 – Present

Longshot Press
Publisher
Dates Employed Aug 2015 – Present

Location: Eugene, Oregon
Today’s modern reader is a globalized reader. Art is becoming a global phenomenon. People want to read stories from all over the world. Longshot Press brings you stories for the modern reader. The global reader.

For fantasy: http://unrealmag.com

For science fiction: http://unfitmag.com

For networking: https://thinkerbeat.com

Representative authors include: Martha Wells, David Brin, Orson Scott Card, Philip K. Dick, Robert Silverberg, Cat Rambo, Yoon Ha Lee, Jerry Oltion, Emily Devenport, Eric Del Carlo, David R. Grigg, and more.

Education
National Taiwan University
Degree Name MBA
Dates attended or expected graduation 2010 – 2012

I graduated with a GMBA degree in June of 2012. The Global MBA program focused on international business.

Columbia College Chicago
Dates attended 1988 – 1990

Columbia provides a unique combination of training in both the business and artistic fields. I studied record company management, contract negotiations, record production and studio recording techniques. Upon graduation, I was hired to work as an engineer in Chicago’s Acme Recording under the ownership of Jim Rasfeld. I received credits on 6 nationally released records and was eligible to become a voting member of the Grammy awards. My most memorable time was working on a record for Bob Dylan, produced by David Bromberg for Columbia Records.

Here is his unedited article.

Blind Copy
By Daniel Scott White

Here’s a typical example of the stories I get. I’ve remove the author and title to protect the innocent.

Scene 1: People meet at a bar. Description, conversations, numbers exchanged, various couples go home together.

Scene 2: A car accident. The same people. Coincidence (unbelievable!). Proposed meeting at a restaurant later in the week.

Scene 3: People meet at the restaurant. More description. More conversation. Character development. But no sign of a plot yet.

Scene 4: The main couple goes for a walk on the beach. Hints of a deeper conversation. There’s a troubling conundrum in someone’s life. He needs some advice. Finally, the first plot point.

We’re now 3000 words into the story. The whole story is 8000 words long. So far, the writing is good from a technical perspective. Great paragraphing, which I like. Even the descriptive writing isn’t bad. But we have no idea why we are reading this story. What is relevant about it?

Why not start with the first plot point and build from there? Yes, in the very first scene, give me your first plot point. Start with the conversation on the beach!

About another 3000 words in, you start to guess the end, where someone will die. I don’t usually like stories where someone has to die for it to end. It’s the cheap way out. “And then he died.” is just a short skip away from “It was all a dream.”

At the end of 8000 words, you’re thinking you’d never buy this one. What are the options?

Should you ask the writer to trim the first 3000 words? I understand it’s important to set the story up, to build suspense. But get to the point of the story sooner than later. One publisher I am fond of says: don’t even try to describe the characters until later on, and then, only if you need to. If you don’t need to know the color of their eyes or how they dress, don’t tell me that. It doesn’t drive the story forward.

In this example story I’m talking about, the writer even understands the idea of an immediate scene. If you don’t know what that is, go look it up. That tip alone will earn you a ton of money. You can pay me for my advice later.

The writer also knows how to ‘block’ out a scene. What I mean is each scene is very clear cut. One scene moves smoothly to the next. There’s no ambiguity there. You’re never left wondering how we got from A to C with no B in the middle (although the coincidental car accident was too much of a stretch for my taste.) The outline is simple. Bar. Accident. Restaurant. Beach. First plot point.

And this particular writer sells a lot of stories to mid-level markets. Nothing much at the pro level, though. I’ve read his work several times before in previous submissions and in general, liked it, but never bought any of it.

Should I take the time to teach him how to do it? Well, no. I’m not here to teach you how to write. There are plenty of places for that. I want the finished story, ready to go.

What this writer is missing is balance.

I think what a lot of people don’t understand is that the short story market is different from the novel market in that you have to be more specific, more concise. It doesn’t have to be a rollercoaster ride from page one, but you have to get to the point and then build on that. Introduce the concept right away, then spend 8000 words expanding on it. A lot of people are in ‘novel writing mode’ when they put together a short story. You’ve got to mentally switch gears if you’re going to do both, write short stories and novels. Writing short stories keeps you sharp and will go a long way to strengthening your novels.

Nowadays, I have a hard time reading novels, because I’m so used to looking for padding in stories that drives the word count up. Time is money, and in this case, words are money, so make them count. I feel like most novels are just padded short stories. They spend pages and even chapters explaining some footnote to the whole thing.

So what I’m talking about is the balance within the story. That’s where most budding authors drop the ball. How much time do you spend expanding each scene, each detail? Somewhere in the editing stage, writers should be thinking: trim this, add in more of that, make it all significant, all relevant to the story, and in so doing, relevant to the reader. Don’t waste words.

The hook shouldn’t be: I wonder what’s happening in this story? Why am I reading this? Does the author even know? Oh, I wonder what happens…first? When will we find out? 3000 words later? WTF?? (That’s a kind of negative suspense building.)

The suspense should be: How does this particular plot unfold and eventually resolve?

There. I said it. A short story needs to have a hook. Sounds simple enough. But why wait 3000 words? If it’s about the money, forget it.

This is a link to his blog, where you can read a lot more. Daniel pays for stories he uses, and if you think you have what it takes to get published, you can contact him on his site.

Welcome

Guest Post: Maria Holm

Good to see more guest posts arriving in my email!

Today I bring you a book review, from Danish blogger, Maria Holm. It is a book about a true story, a quest to find information about a family member who went missing during WW2.

A Book Memorial for a Lost Family Member

LOST

The Quest for Jan van Boeckel

During the first years of blogging, I came upon Mogromo’s Blog. The blog site was illustrated with the most fascinating photos that supported the mysterious disappearance of a dear family member during the last year of the war. The Dutch writer behind that blog was discreet about who he or she was and drew my attention to the purpose of the blog describing the Quest for Jan van Boeckel. Like the author, I grew up in the shadow of WWII having parents whose lives were heavily influenced by having their youth strained by the German occupiers. We in Denmark were not suffering so much as the Dutch people did.

Cover photo for the book on Jan’s last year of life. He had his 22nd birthday shortly before his death.

A book has come out as a result of the author Wendy van Eijnatten’s efforts through some years having searched intensively for traces of her uncle Jan who never came back to his family after the liberation. Uncle Jan was an older brother of Wendy’s mother. He was the sixth child of thirteen in this close-knit Dutch family. The loss of him never coming back from his confinement by the Nazis left a space in the whole family. His mother and his many siblings spent years in research and Wendy took up the baton many years later to find that Jan probably died on a death march to Dachau from a concentration camp in Saal near the Czech border. That last place was hell on earth guarded by the worst scumbags. The SS had delegated the dirty jobs to criminals so they could live a more comfortable life behind the scenes. You sense how in the end everything went from an organised terror regime to chaos as the Western Allied were closing in on the Nazis.

In her book, we follow Jan in his hiding from the Nazis, the harsh life in the cold forest with fellow young resist fighters until their sudden and brutal capture on a hot day in June in 1944. Reading about it, you feel the cold, the hunger and thirst and the dirt and insecurity of what the next moment would bring along. His last year in different prisons and concentration camps ended just before the liberation. Jan wanted to join the British Royal Air Force but was never able to escape Europe to get there. His older brother Gerhard was a pilot in the Far East and was shot down by the Japanese.

The last year of the war was extremely difficult for the Dutch population. Wendy describes in great details the hunger the Boeckel family endured while they never gave up but found ways to survive by sending the children out to friendly farmers for their survival. Before that, they had all taken part in the hunt for food and wood for heating. The Nazi occupiers made the population starve on purpose.

To lift the spirit for themselves and those around them both Jan on his journey to becoming a resistant fighter and his family talked about literature, sang choirs and exercised gymnastics.

The author herself keeps in the background in the book, but once in a while, she describes the two years of a challenging hunt for documenting Jan’s last year of his life. She succeeded in finding two living witnesses who know Jan in that critical time. Theo with whom Jan ran away with to become freedoms fighters and Jacob who sat with him on his last transport on their Death March.

In my opinion, they were a family of great character and good morals to be admired for posterity. The book is well written and so exciting that you read the 416 pages in a few days. The cover photo is descriptive for the content of a story hidden in forests and uncertainties.

To get hold of the book “Lost The Quest for Jan van Boeckel”, you can contact the author on her blog.
Jan van Boeckel Timeline


Here is a link to Maria’s own blog, where you can discover more about this very interesting and friendly l
ady.
https://mariaholm.blog/
And here is a link to the Goodreads page for the book, including buying links for those interested.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38588509-lost

Guest Post: Darlene Foster

I am delighted to be able to bring you a guest post from the lovely Darlene Foster, a Canadian blogger and published author.

Here is her own short bio.

Brought up on a ranch in Canada, Darlene dreamt of travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She has always loved to tell stories and was encouraged by her grade three teacher to write them down. She is the author of the exciting adventure series featuring 12-year-old Amanda Ross who loves to travel. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Spain, England, Germany, Holland and her own country, Canada. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the sunny Costa Blanca of Spain and the west coast of Canada.

And this is her unedited guest post.

How Travel Memories Became Books for Kids

By Darlene Foster

As a young girl living in rural Alberta, Canada, I always wanted to do two things, travel and write. My first time on an airplane was at age twenty-five when I flew to England to marry my British fellow. I couldn’t contain my excitement. I didn’t mind that London was fogged in and we had to land in Scotland first. It didn’t bother me that we missed our connection and had to sleep in Heathrow airport for a few hours until we could get a flight to Manchester. The only train to York stopped at every little town and hamlet along the way and we were almost a day late for the roast beef dinner his family made for us. For me it was all part of the amazing adventure, and I loved every minute. I never stopped travelling after that.

Years later I was invited to visit a friend who was working in the United Arab Emirates. An opportunity I would never get again, I didn’t hesitate to go. The moment I stepped off the plane, I was enthralled. I loved everything about the place; the people, the food, the culture, the geography, the history. I visited an archaeological dig, witnessed a camel race, spent a day in the desert at a Bedouin camp, rode a camel, took a drive into the mountains, walked in a wadi and shopped at a souk. I felt like I had stepped into a storybook. My friend commented that I acted as excited as a twelve-year-old.

I returned home and felt the urge to write about this remarkable experience. I started to write from an adult’s perspective but it wasn’t working for me. The story lacked the excitement I felt while encountering such unique experiences. One sleepless night I looked through my photographs which brought back vivid memories. I started to write, but this time from the point of view of a twelve-year-old. It felt right. I wrote about what I saw and felt, and I threw in an adventure. That night, Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask was born.

After completing the book, I decided Amanda needed to do more travelling. My in-laws had retired to Spain from England and we had been to visit them there a number of times. Spain is another country I found fascinating. It wasn’t too difficult to incorporate my travels and experiences in Spain into Amanda in Spain – the Girl in the Painting. I had fun including the Gaudi buildings of Barcelona, The Prada Museum in Madrid and the hanging houses of Cuenca.

We returned to England a number of times since my inaugural flight to visit relatives, spending time in a different part of that historic country with every visit. It was natural that the third book would take place in England. But what to write about when there is so much to see and do? I narrowed it down to sites in London such as Hampton Court, The Tower of London, Harrods and the London Eye. I also had Amanda visit The Isle of Wight and Windsor Castle, two of my favourite places. Amanda in England – The Missing Novel is one of my most popular books.

Amanda has since travelled down the Danube on a river cruise, gone on a school trip to New Mexico and visited the delightful country of Holland, as well as entertained her British friend in her home province of Alberta. All these stories are based on my own travel experiences. I get great enjoyment out of reliving my trips through the eyes of Amanda. Of course, she has way more adventures than I did.

Although these books are written in a style that children can easily read and understand, to my delight I find many adults enjoy them as well. One adult reader commented, “Amanda in Spain is a book for the young and the young-at-heart. Vivid descriptions of the country and its customs, humorous details, and enough tension that keeps you turning the page, make this a very enjoyable reading. I look forward to Amanda’s next adventure!”

Another adult reader had this to say about Amanda in New Mexico: “Even though I am way beyond the age bracket market this series is intended to, the child in me truly enjoyed Amanda and her classmates’ adventures on their school trip to New Mexico, discovering enchanting villages and people along the way and getting into all kinds of scraps that may or may not involve spirits and otherworldly phenomena. I especially enjoyed learning about a part of the world I have never been to, in particular, the town of Taos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its History, as well as the Day of the Dead celebrations and Doña Sebastiana, the female saint of death.”

I have many more ideas for future Amanda travels books and am currently working on Amanda in Malta. Readers keep asking, “Where is Amanda going next?” My only rule is it has to be somewhere I’ve visited myself. This means I’ll have to keep travelling so Amanda can visit more places and I can write more books!

Here are some useful links where you can find out more, connect with Darlene, and even buy her books!
Please visit Darlene, and give her some encouragement. She is a very helpful and engaged blogger, as well as being a huge asset to our community.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darlene6490/

Website: http://www.darlenefoster.ca/

Blog: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

Guest Post: Ngozi Dorcas Awa

I am very pleased to have received this guest post from Nigerian blogger, Ngozi.
Here is her own short bio.

My Bio:
I am a Marketing Communications enthusiast.
I started blogging as a hobby, but now I’m so passionate about it. I could win an award for being the quietest and most reserved person in a room…haha.

Here is a link to her website.
https://doshelles.com/

This is her unedited guest post, received today.

How new is the New Year?

Whizzing whistles…Bang! Bang!
An explosion of coloured lights into the night sky.

Lights shaped like sunflowers, illuminating the dark sky with its luminous petals of dotted yellow lights.

Beside the sunflowers are lights shaped like jellyfish. Swimming the night sky gracefully like primer ballerinas. Leaving in its wake long streaks of orange-blue lights.

The jellyfish lights glide in the dark sky, showing off the flexibility of its translucent umbrella-shaped bodies. Bodies dotted with pink-purple lights.

You watched this display of colours and lights joyfully. The fireworks signaled to you a new beginning.

In the midst of your colour induced euphoria, you ask yourself, is this really a new beginning? How new is the New Year?

The mind tells you, the only ‘new’ in the New Year is your age. All things being equal, you may add a new age to your Driver’s License.

You disagree with the mind. The new year is what you, the internal and external factors that influence your daily existence make of it.

You understand that your life doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are sociocultural and socioeconomic factors that may make or mar your goals and aspirations.

All hope is not lost, nonetheless.

You believe in the power of self over the mind. You have prepared a foolproof guide to achieve your goals. You plan to stick to it.

In addition, you have also prepared a contingency plan. Your foolproof plan may fall apart. You don’t want to be caught living in a fool’s paradise.

You are smart, you learn from past mistakes.

Please take time to visit Ngozi’s site, and give her some encouragement.

Guest Post: Liz Lloyd

I am delighted to present a guest post from British blogger, Liz Lloyd.
This is her own short bio.

‘After 35 years as a primary school teacher and school librarian, I started two blog sites based on my main interests in history and books. I am a volunteer researcher at my local Workhouse Museum as well as following my own family tree. I also enjoying travelling, especially to the Algarve’.


Liz has two blogs. One is solely concerned with book reviews.

https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/
Her second blog features her travels, photos, and visits to places of historical interest.
https://somerville66.blogspot.com/

Here is her unedited guest post, a sad story of poverty, and forced migration.

British Home Children in Canada.

Since 2013 I have been researching the lives of people connected to the Union Workhouse in Guildford, Surrey. Initially we were preparing for an exhibition at The Spike museum about the changes from Workhouse, to war hospital in both world wars and later a General Hospital but subsequently I became particularly interested in what happened to the children who had stayed in the Workhouse, many of whom went to Sail training schools, Scattered homes, into domestic service or apprenticeships. However, the most alarming fate was the decision to send the children across the ocean to a new life in Canada.
“From the late 1860s right up to 1948, over 100,000 children of all ages were emigrated right across Canada, from the United Kingdom, to be used as indentured farm workers and domestics. Believed by Canadians to be orphans, only approximately 12 percent truly were. These children were sent to Canada by over 50 organizations including the well-known and still working charities: Barnardo’s, The Salvation Army and Quarrier’s, to name a few.” (British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association)

In Canada and America many descendants are trying to trace the origin of their ancestors, often only discovering after their grandparents’ deaths that they had been sent across by British charities or Union Workhouses. Some of the children were lucky, going to good homes where they were educated and cared for, but others were treated like slaves or abused. Government Inspectors visited from time to time but in such a large country this was a rare occasion. These are a few of the children I have followed.

Margaret Ellen, Edith Mary and Louisa were born in the village of Pirbright, Surrey the daughters of James Chewter and his wife Sarah. James was a farm labourer. As agricultural labouring opportunities declined many families moved closer into Guildford so that the fathers could find casual labouring jobs. They managed to eke out a living until one parent died and then it was impossible to provide for the family and look after the children. According to the death records registered in Guildford, Sarah Chuter, mother of the three girls, died at the Royal Surrey Hospital in 1884 aged 38, so it must have been very difficult for their father James to look after them on his own while continuing to work.

Margaret, Edith and Louisa were first sent from Surrey to Mr Middlemore’s Home in Birmingham where they were prepared for their voyage. The Board of Guardians in Guildford provided each with a chest containing a basic set of clothes and a Bible. On June 18th 1887 they were part of a group of 115 children aboard the SS Lake Ontario bound Quebec and on to the Guthrie Receiving Home in London, Ontario. The Chewter/ Chuter girls were soon given placements. Edith was placed in three different locations, the final one being at Belmont, Ontario, Louisa, age 7, was placed with Francis Davis at Adelaide Street, London, Ontario and Margaret, age 12 went to David Phillips of Durham, Oxford Co. Ontario.

Two years earlier, Walter Shires, an 11-year-old boy from a tragic family, had also been migrated to Canada. He can be found age 7, amongst the inmates listed in Guildford Union Workhouse in 1881 and next to him, the name Mary Ann Joyce, age 12, who was his stepsister. Both children had been orphaned two or three years earlier, but only Walter would be part of the small party of children sent out to Canada to begin a new life.

Walter’s mother Kate May married William Joyce at St Nicholas, Guildford in 1866. He was an Agricultural Labourer and by 1871 they were living in the area of St Catherine’s with their three children, William John Joyce, age 4, Mary Ann Joyce, age 2 and newly born Kate Elizabeth. Sadly, Kate died within a few months and a year later their father, William Joyce, was buried in St Mary’s churchyard, aged 26.

The young widow, Kate Joyce, married again next year, this time to labourer Walter Henry Shires. Their son, also called Walter Henry Shires was born shortly afterwards but there is no evidence of any other children born to the couple before Kate’s death in 1878. At the age of 30, her funeral was held at St Nicholas’s church. With three young children to look after, Walter Shires senior entered Guildford Union Workhouse where he died a year after his wife, aged 37.

By 1881, the eldest boy William John Joyce was 14, so he was working as a farm servant in Hambledon. The next time we find Mary Ann Joyce is in 1891 when she is living in Spitalfields with three other girls, all with no occupation, in the household of a Docker and a Laundress.

Like the Chewter sisters, 12-year-old Walter first went to the Guthrie Home in London, Ontario. From there, Walter was sent to live with J D Crane, a farmer in Chatsworth, Ontario. Each child was subject to one inspection to check that his new home was suitable. Walter Shires was reported to be both honest and untruthful, stubborn, sulky and a source of trouble. He was, however, “showing signs of slight improvement,” in his behaviour, although suffering from scalp disease. In later years Walter married and had 2 children, before his death in 1937.

In 1881, wheelwright, Benjamin Sink was living with his wife Jane and their three little girls in Farthing Lane, Wandsworth, but Benjamin came from Ockham, Surrey where most of his family still lived. By 1883 the lives of Ruth, aged 7, Beatrice, 6, and Ada Sink, aged 3 had been turned upside down. Their mother Jane had died and Benjamin was imprisoned in Wandsworth jail. The family in Ockham took in the three girls, but their grandmother was 64 and nearly blind so they were soon given up to the Union Workhouse in Guildford. In in June 1884 the sisters set out from Liverpool on the Allan Line steamship Parisian, with 115 other girls from various parts of Britain.

It is recorded in Ontario that Mark Smallpiece, Clerk to the Board of Governors of Guildford Poor Law Union, requested feedback on the children’s situations, as did other workhouse Boards and thus we have it on record that Beatrice, “would like to know her birthday if possible,” that Ada, “thinks she has a brother in the Union,” (Guildford Workhouse) while poor Ruth is so unwell she has been returned to Guthrie House. We do not know whether Beatrice discovered her birthday or whether Ada really had a brother “in the Union.”

Thanks to Maureen Salter, a descendant of the Sink family, I now have a little more information.

Beatrice Sink was adopted by the Burton family and took their surname. Later she married a cousin of her adopted family. Ada also went to a caring home in Ontario where, at the age of 6, she was adopted by Ephraim Snell. Sadly in 1893 she died of typhoid fever.

The children’s birth father Benjamin Sink died in Richmond Workhouse, Surrey in 1938. There is no record of a brother in Guildford Union Workhouse, and we do not know whether Beatrice was given her correct birth date.

It seems fitting to conclude with a quotation from the journalist of Guildford Jottings in the Surrey Mirror in 1885,
“Although one feels almost guilty of expatriating the poor little ones by deciding to send them from our shores, it does not follow that it is not in reality, the very kindest thing it is possible to do for them. They are at a premium in Canada, they are a discount here. It’s just as well to get a premium on one’s wares where possible.”

Liz Lloyd

Please take time to visit Liz’s other blogs, and give her some support from our great community. There is lots to discover on her general blog, and I am sure all you book fans out there will appreciate her reviews on the literary blog.