I'm meant to be writing a story, inspired by liberty, for our local writing group's monthly contest. But housework, yardwork, shopping, washing and more keep stealing my time, making me wonder when I'll be at liberty to write. Still, I know which story to tell. It's another tale (or tail) of Fred and Joe, those two star dogs of my Tails of Mystery (which I really must finish editing and send to the publisher, when I'm at liberty to edit I suppose). In this story little Joe hears those noises outside and sees those flashes like monster birds exploding across the sky on July 4th. Old Fred just buries his head in his paws, but Joe runs frantically around the house until he finds his way outside, through the cat-flap, which failed to lock behind Fred's bulky head.
Free from the confines of his home, poor Joe can't escape from the noise and ends up lost in someone else's back yard. But I'll give the story a happy ending with, perhaps, a reminder that freedom curtailed (a locked catflap) might have offered a better option for the poor little guy.
So... all I need is some time (and liberty) to type. Tails of Suspense, coming soon, perhaps?
Meanwhile, I have found time to read, a little. And children's books, being written for little people, often provide a little lighter entertainment. So here are some reviews (and coffee ratings of course--all books read better with coffee!)
Starting with The Candy House, by Peter Joseph Swanson; this short picture book offers an intriguing new take on the tale of Hansel and Gretel, plus some wise advice on eating your greens, and delightfully quirky images to entertain adults and kids. Enjoy this lively easy-reading tale with a lively easy-drinking 2-star cup of coffee.
Next is another Peter Joseph Swanson picture book fairytale called Three Heads in the Well. Another bright happy fairytale with a pleasingly modern feel, it reminds me of the much-loved Paperbag Princess, turns witches and thorns on their heads, and is filled with bright clear images (including spitting toads!). Another easy-drinking 2-star cup of coffee would go well.
Grandparents’ Day, by Tina Marie Kaht, is a picture book with a very different flavor, introducing the nicely parallel themes of growing up and growing old, as a middle-grade girl helps care for the grandparents who once cared for her. Filled with delightful relationships and memories, and illustrated in pleasingly soothing crayon-style images, it's a lovely story for a grandparent or parent to share with a small child. Enjoy with a well-balanced smoothly-flavored 3-star coffee.
Finally, there's Janet Beasley's Hidden Earth/Maycly series. I've read the first two volumes, Two Altered Worlds, and The Battle of Trust and Treachery. They offer a fascinating allegorical view of creation, redemption, the Fall, and more, against a backdrop of strange plants and creatures, all nicely illustrated, with fascinating (and complicated) names. Think hobbits crossed with leprechauns, with a side story of real-world depression and chronic health issues, plus powers and dominions whose names evoke those of more familiar angels and demons. It's a long and complex tale, with more volumes to tell. Enjoy with some dark intense 5-star coffee, and comfort the kids with sweet pictures when they're scared.