• Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 6 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 6

    (Chapter Three continued) A ripple of excitement flashed through the gathered girls as soon as the French doors opened and the butler emerged. Eyes of blue, brown, black, green, and hazel followed his every cool move. They brightened in hope as he approached before darkening in jealousy and thoughts of, “Why not me?” Whispers floated around the early evening air heavily scented with the aroma of invisible roses. Gowns rustled as girls moved to follow the seemingly oblivious butler who was, in fact, paying close attention to each and every one of them. Five years before, a young woman had screamed with rage when he walked past her and had…

  • Book Review: The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen by Ada Bright and Cass Grafton

    Book Review: The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen by Ada Bright and Cass Grafton

    Title: The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen Authors: Ada Bright and Cass Grafton Publisher: Canelo Publication date: September 12, 2019 Genre: Fiction, Women’s Fiction Summary: All Rose wants to do is enjoy the Jane Austen festival in Bath with her online friend from California, Morgan. All while longing for Dr. Aiden Trevallyn to notice her. Instead, she makes the acquaintance of a time traveling Jane Austen. Thanks to an accident with a dog, Rose and Jane end up in an alternate timeline where Jane had never written any of her novels, and they must figure out how to return to their own time to fix the timeline. As a fan of Jane Austen’s…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 5 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 5

    Chapter Three Olivia was beautiful and poised. Almost like a China doll. She was five years older than me and college educated. She was a wealth of knowledge I drank up. Unfortunately, she proved to be about as delicate as she looked. Fortunately, she helped convince my mother a college education would greatly benefit me if I was to inherit my father’s empire. The Blue Moon rose was planted in her honor. There was a reason why the house staff called it the Brown Room. It was always in hushed whispers or low mutters to each other. “The Brown Room needs a scrub.” “The young master is in the Brown…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 4 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 4

    (Chapter Two continued) Two days later, Elaina found herself wrapped in an ice blue evening gown, her feet jammed into four inch high heels, her hair pulled back into a low chignon, and her favorite paperback pressed possessively to her chest. She stumbled along behind her friends as they and dozens of other women made their way up the long driveway of Roderick Hall. Her constant mutters and the uneven clicks of her heels assured Camille and Lily she was right behind them, so neither complained about her lagging behind. “Stop, Elaina.” Lily’s amused tone had her looking up sharply a step before she would have walked right into Camille,…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 3 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 3

    Chapter Two Jessica was everything Linda hadn’t been. She was quiet and thoughtful, philosophical almost. We had deep conversations that lasted far into the night. She wasn’t a great beauty, but a great conversationalist. I could really open up to her. I thought she might stay because she was so introverted, but I missed the fact that she was hopelessly attached to her twin sister. The distance was too great. I planted the Best Friend rose in her honor, wishing I could have been her best friend. A week after moving back into her childhood bedroom, Elaina still wasn’t settled. Even though she was surrounded by the comforts of home…

  • Cryptofauna by Patrick Canning

    Book Review: Cryptofauna by Patrick Canning

    Title: Cryptofauna Author: Patrick Canning Publisher: Self-published Publication date: December 7, 2018 Genre: Fantasy, Humor, Fiction Summary: Jim works as a janitor at an insane asylum/home for the elderly, but feels his life is going nowhere, so he attempts suicide. Fortunately, his attempt is interrupted by a resident named Oz who, quite without explanation, pushes Jim into a massive worldwide game called Cryptofauna. Tasked with completing three trials in order to become Certified, he’s sent on a crazy journey into the game where what he does has the potential to impact the balance present in the world. But every player has a Rival, and Jim’s isn’t one to play the game fairly. Armed with good…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 2 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 2

    (Chapter One continued) There was a time when Elaina would have done anything to live in the center of the city, away from the quite suburb she’d grown up in. Her life had been quiet and dull, though she had been comfortable. At least, until she went away to college in a major city and newfound friends had shown her everything she had missed out on during her childhood. When she moved home, living downtown had been a no-brainer. Which was why she was surprised when no pangs of sorrow hit her as she drove away from the cold glass office building that soared into the sky, falling just short…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 1- a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 1

    A work in progress based on Beauty and the Beast that will hopefully be finished. Unedited and for your amusement. Chapter One Linda was beautiful. Beautiful and elegant and sophisticated. Nineteen to my seventeen, she was every guy’s dream. Poetry fell from her lush red lips. Her blue eyes twinkled with naughty secrets. Her hips swayed like a hypnotist’s pendulum. She charmed me and filled my nights with dreams that would make my mother run her off the estate. But Linda was fragile. She broke easily. I planted the American Beauty in her honor. “We need to break up.” Elaina Linden cringed as the words escaped her lips, but she needed to…

  • Book Review: The Venice Atonement by Merry Allingham

    Book Review: The Venice Atonement by Merryn Allingham

    Title: The Venice Atonement Author: Merryn Allingham Publisher: Canelo Publication date: June 27, 2019 Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Historical Mystery Summary: Following her sudden marriage to the much older art professor Leo Tremayne in 1955, Nancy finds herself exploring Venice, with nothing else to do until she witnesses a woman she’d met once before tumble from a balcony at the opera. Ruled a suicide, Nancy isn’t so sure. With nothing else to do and wanting to find her own place in the world and her marriage, she jumps headlong into investigating the mysterious death, convinced it’s a murder. Often heedless of the danger she could find herself in, she’s quickly grateful for the begrudgingly given help…

  • Book Review: Thousand Sunny Queen by Mike Aaron

    Book Review: Thousand Sunny Queen by Mike Aaron

    Title: Thousand Sunny Queen Author: Mike Aaron Publisher: self-published Publication date: June 20, 2019 Genre: Fiction, Adventure, Humor Summary: Jennifer King wants to be a pirate. Trained by the reclusive Kingston Clink, she spends her childhood learning all the skills she’ll need to protect herself and realize her dream. At 17, she sets out from the little Caribbean island she grew up on and heads for Africa, meeting an assortment of people who teach her something about herself and offer friendship and other questionable relationships. Through it all, Jennifer just wants to be a pirate. Jennifer is off her rocker crazy. But I think that’s why I loved her. She’s clearly…