Category Archives: Writer & Book Reviewer

Reader and writer of short stories and book reviews. Published both online and print.

Book Review: Death at a Fixer-Upper – Real Estate to Die For!

Death at a Fixer UpperDeath at a Fixer-Upper
by Sarah T. Hobart

The ink is barely dry on Sam Turner’s new real estate agent license as she heads out to view a vintage home for sale. Unfortunately she has to tour the once grand home with Biddie McCracken, a crabby colleague at Home Sweet Home Realty. The tour is dampened by the state of the once opulent home. It would be a toss-up between renovation and complete demolition and starting over – but that is up to the future buyer.

The century old estate has the lines of the grand dame she used to be, along with secrets held quietly within for many generations. Unfortunately, these secrets may be worth killing for. In fact, they have already.

After the bizarre walk through with Biddie, Sam can’t believe her good fortune. She has three offers within a matter of days for a home that has only been marginally cared for over the last several years by a faithful housekeeper and her young daughter.

Sam is excited at the prospect of selling the old place. Being a single mother in a small town hasn’t been easy. Raising her now teenage son has been a loving challenge but Sam has no regrets. Now that she is doing better financially, she is excited and scared to be purchasing a home of their own now. This sale will really help. Unfortunately for her, buyers start turning up dead.

Determined to make this sale, Sam does a bit of investigating on her own. But soon she finds out the cutthroat real estate market doesn’t hold a candle to real killers. Hopefully she can still get out of this sale alive.

Hobart writes a perfect cozy mystery. It is a fun, fast-paced, interesting book with enough twists and turns to keep mystery lovers turning the pages to see what happens to Sam next. There were enough suspects to keep me guessing until the final chapter, which I absolutely love.

Kudos to Hobart for the great descriptive text in Death at a Fixer-Upper. It flowed naturally, but put you right in that old crumbling estate, the “vintage-… read ancient” VW camper she drives or any other setting in the book.

All of the main characters are well rounded and I felt like I knew them. Sam would be someone I’d go to lunch with, or maybe just stop for some chocolate and caffeine – I totally get where she is coming from.  I’ve worked with snarky people like some of the competing realtors. Sam’s friends, son and family are all cut from the same cloth as people I actually know. This made the book come alive for me.

Death at a Fixer-Upper. is the third book in Sarah T. Hobart’s Home Sweet Home Mystery Series. It is the first one I’ve read and works perfectly as a stand-alone mystery.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Random House Books House Party that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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Filed under Book Review, books, cozy mystery, Mystery, Random House, Random House Publishing - Alibi, Writer & Book Reviewer

Book Review: Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy by M. D. Moore – I Loved This Book

Cool Crazy

Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy

M. D. Moore

287 pages

This novel begins with Harmon and his mother Cece being arrested. This is Harmon’s third strike and he could be looking at serious time in prison. Then a strange twist of fate sets him free from prison, but not his private hell.

If troubles were money, Harmon Burke would be the richest man in town. But they are not, so he is not. As a matter of fact, he is in desperate need of money. His life hinges on him finishing a job restoring several historic furniture pieces and selling them before his cancer kills him. If he can complete the restoration, he can pay for his treatment and hopefully continue to live.

But cancer is just a sidebar in his messed up life. Being the oldest son of a paranoid schizophrenic mother has never been easy for Harmon. His father is non-existent; his little brother Connie needed someone to raise him because his mother is unable to. This job falls to Harmon, who does the best he can.

Growing up with Cece was a string of false promises and events that no child should have to experience. When she is on her medication, life is better. But unfortunately for the two Burke boys, their mother was often off her meds. Something happened during one of her bad times that will haunt them forever, coloring their lives with more crazy than anyone can handle.

Now a grown man, Harmon is trying to control his mother, help his brother, raise enough money for his medical treatment and not die in the meantime. Enter the woman he has always loved, but lost many years ago to a man now powerful enough to ruin his life with a snap of his fingers. She needs Harmon’s help, but he can hardly hold his head above water, so how can he save someone else?

When Harmon grudgingly starts seeing a therapist, he begins to remember parts of his past he buried long ago. He is trying to learn how to cope with current troubles, and accept what happened in his past. But when a revelation comes to light crashing those two worlds together, it could be the end of him.

I could not turn the pages fast enough to read Moore’s debut novel. He draws the reader into Harmon’s world with empathy and honesty. Addressing mental illness is not easy, but he digs into every uncomfortable corner of Cece, Connie and Harmon’s minds to show all the highs and lows of a family in crisis. The picture he paints with beautiful prose will haunt you way after reading his book.

Sanity is a tenuous thread that can be broken easier than we could ever imagine. Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy explores this from every angle. I can’t wait to hear more from this talented author.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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Book Review: Unleashed by Eileen Brady: Stellar Second Cozy Mystery

Unleashed (A Kate Turner D.V.M. Mystery) unleashed

by Eileen Brady

Poisoned Pen Press

225 pages

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Dr. Kate Turner is back. Doc Anderson is still on his world cruise, but that is ok with Kate. She has settled in nicely in cozy little Oak Falls. They need a competent vet while Doc was off on his adventure and she needs the tranquility of small town life in upstate New York.

Most of the people she comes in contact with have become fast friends or quirky acquaintances, but they all value her expertise as the person that takes loving, skilled care of their pets and farm animals. It isn’t the animals that are causing the problems in Oak Falls, it is humans.

Claire Birnham is found dead of an apparent suicide. She was a well-liked, talented artist with a bright future that gave no indication of distress or worry, certainly nothing that would sound an alarm with her friends and family.

Kate cannot believe her friend would kill herself. There were so many reasons for her to want to live. First and foremost, Claire’s love and devotion for her dog Toto. Named after the famous pooch in The Wizard of Oz, Toto is a dog with an attitude. He is a pussycat with Claire, but is intolerant of almost everyone else.

Lucky for Toto he was at the veterinary clinic at the time of his mistress’ demise. And lucky for Kate, her kennel helper Eugene is one of the few people Toto doesn’t try to eat.

Kate starts digging deeper into her friend’s death with the unwilling help of her friend and sometimes boyfriend, police officer Luke Gianetti. Her grandfather, a retired law enforcement officer, is much more willing to help. He even comes to town to do a bit of probing for Kate.

Unfortunately, Kate was right. Her friend Clair was murdered. There are more suspects entering the picture than Kate could have imagined. Line up an ex that is a Rock Singer, an awful alcoholic mother, a vindictive, overbearing gallery owner and someone very near and dear to Kate.

The clock is ticking while Kate immerses herself in the local art scene and investigation. Either one can get her killed. She has to keep looking for the real killer before an innocent person is convicted of the crime.

Eileen Brady has done it again. Wrap a mysterious death in a cloak of critters and quirky characters and you have the makings of a great cozy mystery. Brady writes dialog and descriptions that pulls the reader into the old beat up truck of Doc Anderson’s and takes you along for the oftentimes bumpy ride.

Some of the characters from her first novel Muzzled make a welcome appearance. Both animals and humans have distinctive attributes and voices, all mixing together making a perfect cast for Brady’s cozy mystery.  The witty prose with the underlying knowledge of a practicing veterinarian brings a depth to this novel that some cozies are missing. I can’t wait to read the next one.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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Filed under art, Book Review, books, cozy mystery, dogs, mythology, Writer & Book Reviewer

Book Review: Lost in the Garden by Philip Beard – I love this author!!!

Lost in the Gardenlost in the garden

By Philip Beard

230 pages

Lost in the Garden is a fictional biography written by Michael Benedict, self-proclaimed under achiever. Born into a wealthy family, he goes to law school then works the least possible billable hours to maintain his place in a law firm.

He is married with two daughters, both of whom he adores. Michael and his wife lost a third child and neither of them seem to be coping with the loss, but have settled into a comfortable routine as a family. The girls are in school, leaving more free time for Michael and his wife Kelly to rekindle the romance of their younger days.

Unfortunately, Michael decided he wants to become a pro golfer. Kelly scoffs at the idea because he just isn’t that great of a golfer despite spending most, if not all of his free time at the expensive country club he has grown up in. When Kelly tells him she is pregnant – an absolute surprise to both of them – the couple drifts further apart instead of becoming closer.

I wanted to slap Michael, tell him to put on his big boy boxers and stop whining. Beard is a master of making his characters, both lovable and downright annoying, come alive on the page. It takes a brave or crazy writer to make his main character unlikable. Most could not pull it off. That is not the case with Lost in the Garden. The fact that Michael made awful choices then rationalized them really worked in this book. Maybe men would be able to identify more with him as he hits his mid-life crisis, but women will still like this book. I loved it.

The subplots with his minor characters are just as compelling as the main story, sometimes taking it over for a chapter. The smooth transition back and forth between story lines makes Beard a master storyteller. He gets into the heads of all of his characters, no matter how big or small of a part they play overall. No one is glossed over, which ads a layer of depth not often found in a book that is so readable. I often thought about parts after I’d read them with “ah ha!” moments connecting why one character or the other acted the way they did.

Beard is one of my favorite new authors. He has written three stand alone novels, Dear Zoe is his first, Lost in the Garden is his second and Swing is his latest. They are all different subjects and characters, but all of them are deeply complicated, yet read like the latest best seller. I defy you to put one of his books aside without it calling you back to see what is going to happen next. I am honestly shocked that everyone who reads doesn’t have at least one of his books on their shelf. The only reason I don’t right now is I’ve loaned my copies out to friends, who then have loaned them out to friends….if you love a book or an author, share them!

In case you can’t decide which one to read first, here are the links to my reviews of his other novels:

https://writeknit.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/book-review-dear-zoe-by-philip-beard-heart-breaking-but-beautiful-novel/

https://writeknit.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/book-review-swing-by-phillip-beard-a-grand-slam-must-read/

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: Bye, Bye Love by K.J. Larsen – Perfectly Plotted Fun

Bye, Bye Love

By K.J. LarsenBye-Bye-Love-cover

218 pages

PI Cat DeLuca has a habit of annoying the police while in pursuit of cheating spouses. She owns the Pants On Fire Detective Agency that is known for catching lying, cheating spouses. Cat seems to stumble into trouble and over dead bodies routinely. Lucky for her she has a long family history of Chicago cops to help her even when she doesn’t think she needs it.

After a particularly hairy stakeout situation, Cat decides to unwind with a run. Even though it is late, she feels safe running in the park with her partner Inga – who happens to be a beagle. Cat literally lands face first on a dead body. The only problem is the bad guy is still around and zaps her before she can get her tazer out. By the time she is able to call the police the body is missing.

Even though her father is an ex-cop, her brother is a current cop and her uncle is quite probably a dirty cop, Captain Bob of the Chicago police department doesn’t believe Cat.  He makes the big mistake of letting Cat know how little he thinks of her detective skills. She vows to find the killer herself and hopefully the body that went missing and made her the laughing stock of the Ninth Precinct. Lucky – or unlucky for her – she saw the guy she thinks is the killer. But of course that means he saw her also. Now she is hunting for the killer, looking for the corpse and trying not to get killed herself.

Zany circumstances force her into predicaments that include going to a biker bar, being ambushed by a mobster and into dead people’s homes to search for clues. Her assistant Cleo tends to make things worse, but her heart is in the right place even though she often ends up in the wrong place.

While all of this is going on, her pushy mother keeps trying to guilt her into marriage and starting a family. To complicate matters more, her boyfriend’s parents are coming in to meet her parents. It is planned to be one happy family dinner. The question is how will ex-hippy vegetarians get along with meat loving Italians? Cat can see the impending train wreck and tries everything she can think of to not be on board when it happens, but nothing works. She is going to have to have dinner and hopefully make it through the evening without losing her boyfriend in the process.

This is K.J. Larsen’s forth book in the Cat DeLuca Mystery series. It read great as a stand-alone novel, just enough background info to let people new to the series get up-to-date, but not so much as to become repetitious to readers of the series. This witty read kept me laughing with one-liners and outlandish situations that could actually happen if a PI had bad luck and crazy friends, foes and family. Here are the other three, because I know you are going to want the series. I do!

Liar, LiarSome like it hotSticks and stones
K.J. is actually three sisters, Kari, Julianne and Kristen Larsen. This award winning trio writes under one name and if you didn’t know it was more than one person, you could not guess by the writing. The sisters brilliantly combine their efforts to create a fun series with quirky characters both human and animal.

If you are a fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Mysteries, you will love K.J.’s Cat DeLuca. There is a perfectly plotted mystery among the poker games and car chases. The twist at the end was masterful; I totally did not see it coming.

Bye, Bye Love is a fast paced, fun book. I especially liked all of the Chicago references since I live in the burbs and have seen many of them myself.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review. Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

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Filed under Book Review, books, Chicago, Mystery, poisoned pen press, series, Writer & Book Reviewer

Touching, Thought Provoking: Jesus Jackson by James Ryan Daley

Jesus-Jackson-Book-CoverJesus Jackson

By James Ryan Daley

267 pages

Jonathan Stiles could be any 14 year old until his first day of ninth grade. Some kids love school, are excited to be back with old friends and meet new friends. He is not that kid, and the anxiety he feels is only the tip of the iceberg in Jonathan’s life.

His first day includes police tape blocking the path to the dead body of his older brother Ryan. Jonathan is now on his own at the religious school his divorced parents chose for the boys in response to their atheism. His skepticism and disdain for any organized religion becomes his armor, shielding him from the pain of his brother’s death, much to the chagrin of his parents and teachers. Ryan and Jonathan began a religious journey, to try to find a religion or a God that they could prove was real. Now that Ryan is dead, his brother believes that death is the end, but on some level it really bothers him.

An unlikely friendship develops with a stranger Jonathan meets as he was leaving the scene of his brother’s death. Jesus Jackson is on the football field, dressed in a white linen leisure suit, offering to help Jonathan. Jackson looks surprisingly like Jesus Christ and seems to say just what Jonathan needs to hear by proposing two ideas. The first is a guarantee that he will find an answer to Jonathan’s doubts about his faith by serving up the perfect belief for him. Then he implies that Ryan’s death was murder, not an accident, and urges Jonathan to find his brother’s killer.

Henry, Jonathan’s only friend at school agrees to help him do a bit of sleuthing. Unfortunately, it involves stalking and trying to gather clues to take to the police from Alistair, the jock they suspect had something to do with Ryan’s death,. As the boys try to get close to him, they realize it might be impossible to collect any evidence proving Alistair’s guilt. No matter the cost, Jonathan is determined to bring Ryan’s killer to justice.

As if Jonathan doesn’t have an overflowing plate of worries, the females in his life are creating complications and distractions. His mother is acting “normal” by cleaning, cooking and keeping a fake smile on her face instead of dealing with her son’s death. Ryan’s girlfriend is useful to Henry and Jonathan’s quest to prove Alistair’s guilt, but she is grieving more than anyone in Jonathan’s home and he has trouble dealing with her. Then there is Cassie. She has fallen for Jonathan, but he doesn’t have the time or energy for a girlfriend – until he finds out she is Alistair’s sister.

This book is brilliant. The themes could make the story heavy, but the book is not. There is underlying tension with the amateur investigation the boys are conducting as well as the quest to find something for Jonathan to believe in. Humor lightens the crazy events of Jonathan’s world giving the reader and the characters a breather.

Daley has written a touching, thought provoking story with characters that come to life as the plot unfolds. They are easy to relate to and identify with. Jesus Jackson is written for Young Adults, but I recommend it for adults also. The thought provoking plot moves quickly, but makes the reader think long after reading it. It would be the perfect choice for a book club as it naturally leads the reader down many paths of discussion.

I am waiting impatiently for a second novel from this talented wordsmith.

Copyright © 2014 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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Filed under James Ryan Daley, Quick Nav, Writer & Book Reviewer

Book Review: Death Takes a Mistress: Delightfully Twisted Tale of Intrigue

Death Takes A Mistress, A Dan & Rivka Sherman Mystery Death Takes a Mistress

By Rosemary and Larry Mild

240 pages

Death Takes A Mistress begins in Bath, England, 1982. A young, single mother is brutally murdered in her apartment, presumably by her married lover. Luckily her infant daughter Ivy was with a neighbor at the time. The case soon grew cold, everyone except Ivy let the memory of that awful day slip away.

Fast forward to 2005.Ivy Cohen was raised by the neighbor that her mother left her with many years ago. Happy and loved, Ivy is a well-adjusted college graduate with a mission. She is determined to find her father – the man who murdered her mother.

The only clues she has to go by are old police reports, her mother’s journal and a box from an Annapolis store that was left at the crime scene. Ivy heads for Virginia with more courage and determination than money. She quickly finds a job as a clerk at The Olde Victorian Bookstore working for Dan and Rivka Sherman.

The job is a perfect fit. She quickly finds the Sherman’s intrigued with her story and quest to find her father. They have a connection to Scotland Yard and the couple quickly agrees to help Ivy obtain a copy of her mother’s diary.

Once it arrives, Ivy discovers that her father probably belongs to one of four families. Impatiently, she stirs the hornet’s nest of possible relatives by announcing her plans to find the person that murdered her mother. Her plan works. Someone attacks her to get to the diary, and that is just the beginning of the events leading towards the end of her quest – or maybe even her life.

This is the second in the Mild’s Dan & Rivka Sherman Mystery Series. It reads fine as a stand-alone novel, with just enough references to the first book in the series (Death Goes Postal) to pique my interest but not give away the plot.

Death Takes A Mistress is a delightfully twisted tale of intrigue. Every time I thought I knew who the killer was, a plot twist would make me second-guess my conclusion. I didn’t know for sure until the final chapters, which makes the mystery lover in me very happy.

The characters were fun and believable. Even secondary characters like the woman who rents Ivy a room have personalities that made me connect with them. The bad boys that weren’t all bad and the good boys who are actually bad are exceedingly well done and true-to-life. I am looking forward to reading more books by the Mild’s.

Copyright © 2014 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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Filed under Mystery, Quick Nav, Writer & Book Reviewer

Writing 101 Day 6

(Note to anyone that might be wondering about the 3rd and last installment in the trilogy – I was sadly mistaken, the subject will be forthcoming, at which time I will add a second, second part and carry on).

This is today’s subject:

Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?

Our stories are inevitably linked to the people around us. We are social creatures: from the family members and friends who’ve known us since childhood, to the coworkers, service providers, and strangers who populate our world (and, at times, leave an unexpected mark on us).

Today, write a post focusing on one — or more — of the people that have recently entered your life, and tell us how your narratives intersected. It can be your new partner, your newborn child, or the friendly barista whose real story you’d love to learn (or imagine), or any other person you’ve met for the first time in the past year.

He sauntered across the gravel road to stand in the sparse grass of my father-in-law’s front yard. An empty beer bottle in one hand, a wad of chew in his jaw and a shy smile on his young face.

“I had to get away from that wedding,” he answered the question as to what brought him to his family’s summer cabin alone this hot June night. Never explaining whose wedding he escaped, he asked to borrow something from the garage to make a small home repair on the aging structure behind him.

Easily six-foot tall, he wore the muscles and calloused hands of a working man, but his face betrayed his age. When he stopped back later to visit, we discovered he was a high school junior, out for the summer. Currently a football player that hates school, loves working on cars in his family’s auto shop business, he tells of the busy summer ahead of him as the maintenance man for some properties his family owns. The soft lines of his face harden as he talks of the heavy burden on his  mind.

His family would love to groom him to take over the family business one day. He would be the fourth generation of the well respected shop. Some young men would jump at the chance, but his one isn’t convinced. He loves his family and the job, but he is leaning toward joining the military instead of taking the easy road to adulthood.

Tilting the bill of his baseball cap, he conversed easily with us, no matter the 50 & 70 year age differences. His quiet, yet earnest voice shared his dislike of school in general, his love of sports and a fondness for the Dukes of Hazzard (the old TV series from the 80’s, not the new movie).

I spent about three hours with this young man, but immediately liked him. I’ve thought of him often since our paths crossed. I hope his family supports him no matter what decision or direction he decides to take. Success and happiness in an uncertain world is all I can hope for the next generation, and this nice young man I met. I bet this is the same thing my father-in-law’s generation thought as they looked at us 50 years ago.

 

 

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award Nomination

I am humbled and honored!

My heartfelt thanks to my new cyber friend and fellow blogger Angela Put It Together 4 U for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. We are fellow “classmates” in the Writing 101 blogger challenge, please go to her blog to learn more about her thoughts and writing.

Image

Below are the ‘rules’ that go along with being a nominee. I’ve shared them (along with my answers) below.

1. Thank and link the amazing person(s) who nominated you. (Done)

2. List the rules and display the award. (Done)

3. Share seven facts about yourself. 

1) I married my high school sweetheart the year after we graduated from high school. Thirty-eight years later I can honestly say I love him more with each passing year. That doesn’t mean we never disagree or argue, but at the end of the day, I can’t imagine life without him.

2) Our three sons are grown and on their own and I have a wonderful daughter-in-law. It seems like only yesterday they were little and our house was full of boys, toys and noise. I miss those days, but am very proud of the men they have all become.

3) I write in my head much IM005798more often than on paper. Doesn’t everyone? Driving in the car, I used to make up stories about the people and places we passed, entertaining the kids and hubby with the outrageous fun lives I imagined the strangers along or path lived then shared with my family.

4) I graduated from Aurora University Summa Cum Laude in 4 years while working full-time. I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with minors in Sociology and English. I wanted to major in English, but the University wouldn’t allow me to because the classes were mostly during the day and I had to get special permission from them to take each class (and make up the hours for my job accordingly). OH, I graduated the same year my youngest son graduated from high school; 2003.

5) I have short stories published  in 2 Anthologies available on Amazon and Untreed Reads. A Woman’s Touch and The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Second Helping. Check them out – both are great collections that I am honored to be a part of.

6) I love to travel. Trains, planes and automobiles are all great ways to explore our world. We have been in every state in the U.S. except Louisiana and Alaska. Soon to be only Alaska because we are going to New Orleans in fall. We’ve also been to Canada (my grandma was born in Toronto). I am trying to convince the hubby to travel to Europe. I’d like to see the UK, France, Germany, Italy….so many places so little time 🙂

7) lastly, I hate talking about myself. It is hard to pick 7 facts that someone might use to define me. So I’ll leave you with a few fast facts:

I am a loyal friend, a hard worker and adore going to the movies. I will forgive almost anything or anyone unless they hurt my family or friends. I have a tatoo (my college graduation gift from me to me). I sleep little, read a lot, eat too much and should exercise more. I love writing – ‘nough said.

4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated. 

1.singlestitchknit.wordpress.com

2. Hingesehen…- ein Bilder-Tagebuch

3. The Bookshelf of Emily J.

4. Blogzone

5. Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

6. Wendy Welch, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap

7. The Artsy Fartsy Chick

8. Book Reviews | Open Book Society

10. The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

11. Knitted Notes

12. stitchknit

13. millie anne lowe

14. knitting with heart

15. Bucket List Publications

5. Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you. (Will be done as soon as I figure out the widgets! and done)

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Writing 101 day 4

Day 4 we are assigned to write about a loss. Our musings can or cannot be part of a trilogy of posts based upon our chosing. I decided to roll with the idea of three connected posts, so come back tomorrow and Monday for the next installments. I’ve also made the choice of writing a work of fiction this time to give me more liberties.

The Greatest Loss (working title until something else replaces it)

“Time is of the essence!” declares Charlie as he slowing moves across the crowded restaurant using his hated walker.

It was nice to be able to get around without falling over, but honestly, did his grandkids really need to put those neon yellow tennis balls on the front legs of the thing? He was steady enough to pick it up each time he moved forward. Most of the time anyway.

“Mom, mom, mom,” chanted his six-year-old great-granddaughter. She didn’t really want anything other than being the center of attention. Hopping around like a kangaroo on crack, she banged into the back of at least three people on the way to their table. One lady dropped pasta down the front of a previously lovely white sweater when her lunch was disrupted by the girl.

“Katie, come back here,” hissed Charlie’s newly divorced daughter Amanda. “Dad, we’ll just meet you at the table, don’t hurry.”

Amanda may have told him not to hurry, but Charlie heard the impatience in her voice. She was irritated with her granddaughter and her father. He tried to step it up a bit, but his hip was really sore from a fall the night before. Of course he didn’t say anything about it to Amanda, she’d be one step closer to moving him to a nursing home and herself in his house.

Finally arriving at the table, he thumped down in the chair with an audible sigh of relief for having made the journey from the car safely. Gone were the days when he could hop out of the car without even thinking about it, jog to the stairs and take them two at a time. Sitting quietly collecting himself while the women in his life chatter over their lunch choices, he wondered how he slipped unnoticed from a vibrant young man to the old codger he’d become.

End part 1 – hope to see you tomorrow 🙂

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Filed under aging, elder care, family, Writer & Book Reviewer, writing101