Saturday, 26 February 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Novelist Catherine Meyrick of Australia.

 


Catherine is no stranger to the Scribbler. Let’s welcome her back!


She writes historical fiction and she does it well. Her writing has won awards and the 4 & 5 star reviews are numerous. 

I’ve had the pleasure of reading her novels – The Bridled Tongue & Forsaking All Other. Terrific stories. Read my review HERE.


She has been a guest previously with an interview on the Scribbler and you can read it HERE.


This week Catherine shares what’s next in her writing journey.

 

 

Catherine Meyrick is an Australian writer of romantic historical fiction. She grew up in Ballarat, a regional city steeped in history, but has lived all her adult life in Melbourne. Until recently she worked as a customer service librarian at her local library. She has a Master of Arts in history and is an obsessive genealogist.

 

 

Title: Cold Blows the Wind


 

'Hobart by the Bay' by JW Beattie courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.

Synopsis:

Hobart Town 1878 – a vibrant town drawing people from every corner of the earth where, with confidence and a flair for storytelling, a person can be whoever he or she wants. Almost.

Ellen Thompson is young, vivacious and unmarried, with a six-month-old baby. Despite her fierce attachment to her family, boisterous and unashamed of their convict origins, Ellen dreams of marriage and disappearing into the ranks of the respectable. Then she meets Harry Woods.

Harry, newly arrived in Hobart from Western Australia, has come to help his aging father, ‘the Old Man of the Mountain’ who for more than twenty years has guided climbers on Mt Wellington. Harry sees in Ellen a chance to remake his life.

But, in Hobart Town, the past is never far away. When it reaches out, Ellen faces everything in life a woman fears most.

Based on a period in the lives of the author’s great-great-grandparents, Sarah Ellen Thompson and Henry Watkins Woods, Cold Blows the Wind is not a romance but it is a story of love – a mother’s love for her children, a woman’s love for her family and, those most troublesome loves of all, for the men in her life. It is a story of the enduring strength of the human spirit.




 

The Story Behind the Story:

Cold Blows the Wind grew out of my genealogical research. Both my parents were interested in their family histories and began researching in the 1960s. Mum’s work was painstaking and meticulous, Dad had not quite the same level of perseverance. When I inherited his papers, I discovered that he wasn’t particularly interested in the female lines. Even with someone as recent as his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Woods, he had names for her parents but with question marks beside them. So I decided I needed to start from scratch and work my way back from Dad, as any good genealogist should. In Dad’s defence, I should say that genealogy was much more difficult then, in the days before the internet and digitization. And a holiday in Ireland or the United Kingdom to do a bit of digging in archives was not something that a working man with a young family could even dream of.




Family research is never finished—there is always more to discover but as it now stands, I have traced all but one of my great-great grandparents, and seven great-great-greats, back to where they came from in Ireland and Britain. In my father’s case, I have discovered seven convict ancestors transported to New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. In the process, I have uncovered stories which even as recently as twenty years ago were lost to memory.

Which brings us back to Elizabeth Woods. As well as her parents, I discovered her grandparents who were absolute characters themselves – Henry Woods whose thieving spree, at eighteen, along the streets of Cheltenham, collecting up everything from three shillings and sixpence in copper to six pounds of bacon, two flutes and a spade, brought him to New South Wales in 1822 and, later, on to Van Diemen’s Land via Swan River; William Thompson a man with a great sense of humour, transported at twenty-one from Stoke upon Trent and interviewed about his convict experiences in 1899, who regarded nearly everything that had happened to him as a ‘fair cop’; and William’s wife, Elizabeth Miller from around the border between England and Scotland, who even in her sixties was appearing in court charged with obscene language and being drunk and disorderly. I knew the whats and wheres of the lives of Elizabeth’s parents, Harry Woods the younger and Ellen Thompson, but I did not truly know the whys. Cold Blows the Wind is my attempt to make some sense of what happened.




Some years ago, I read A Cargo of Women: The Novel, a tight and gripping novel by Babette Smith, based on the life of her great-great grandmother Suzanna Watson who was transported to New South Wales in 1829 having stolen to feed her children. From early in my genealogical research, I wanted to write something about one of my female forebears and felt that the story of Ellen and Harry lent itself to fiction having definite a narrative arc. I cannot say much about what happened because it would give too much away but my novel sets out possible motivations and reasons for the tumults in their lives. At least 80% of what happens in the novel is based on documented events but the reasons for what happened are my speculation. Where there are gaps, I have had to fill them in, provide lives for people who disappeared, imagine how Harry and Ellen felt and expressed themselves, what their hopes were. The people of my novel do not always have use for the middle-class morality we now see as ‘Victorian’ and sometimes they speak in the language of the streets, some of it uncovered through court records and most of which would not make an average Australian today blush.

Cold Blows the Wind is probably the hardest thing I have ever written, possibly will ever write. I was always deeply aware that I was writing about real people and that I needed to do them justice, not treat them as literary pawns to be moved around on the page. The research into the conditions of those at the bottom of society was heartbreaking—the poor living conditions, low pay, precariousness of life where illness or an accident could tip a family into poverty, the censoriousness and judgement of those who had never known want, the cruelty of those without conscience. But the novel is not just about what was done to these people, it is about how they rose above it. They may not have ended their lives with grand houses, vast estates or money in the bank, but they left behind families, the most enduring of all legacies.

The novel only covers a period of seven years but they were tumultuous years for Ellen Thompson. Between the ages of nineteen and twenty-six she faced every single thing, short of her own death, that women fear most in life. Hers is the story of the resilience of the human spirit, the story of so many ordinary women of the past. I hope I have done her justice.


Cold Blows the Wind will be released at the end of April 2022.

 

 

Website: www.catherinemyerick.com

 

A question before you go, Catherine.

What inspires you to write historical fiction and how rewarding has the journey been?

 

Catherine: I came from a family where the past was very much alive. As well as their family histories, my parents were interested in history in general and they were both great readers. My father read historical fiction and my mother historical biographies so when I was old enough to start raiding their bookshelves most of the reading matter there was historical. As we got older Mum shared interesting snippets from the books she was reading. And everyone told stories, particularly in the evenings in the years before we got a television, or when we went on holidays to Mum’s parents. To a child or someone in their early teens all stories are historical whether they take place a hundred years before their birth or merely ten. We heard stories about their lives, other family members and their travels, tales about smoking bark rolled in newspaper down by the New Town Rivulet and only being caught out later because you had singed your eyelashes (Dad), or of being taken for a joyride in a small plane and seeing Bass Straight above your head at night (Mum), or of losing your father’s best bridle when you tried to use it to take a ride on the back of an old man koala (Grandfather)*. We saw all these as historical, set in another time and place and far more interesting than our ordinary lives plodding off to school, the high point of the week the First Aid classes where we got to cover very interesting plastic wounds with gauze and bandages. Even items around our house—vases, photographs, items of jewellery, the box the linen was stored in—had histories. History was fascinating.


Other than the short stories I wrote when I was first starting out, it seemed natural to write stories set in the past. And I am much more interested in the lives of ordinary people than the big names. While the big names had the money and influence, it is the ordinary people who made their visions possible. The canals and later the railways would never have been possible without the thousands upon thousands of navvies who worked constructing them.




 Ordinary people working together can bring about change, though it may be slow and difficult, such as the halting steps over many many years that brought us universal suffrage. The lives of ordinary people are every bit as interesting and inspiring as those of despotic old kings’ wives. One thing we have learnt over the last couple of years is how much we depend for our general well-being on people working in not particularly well-paid and often unregarded jobs such as supermarket cashiers, shelf-stackers and delivery workers. The stories of the ordinary people who came before us are worth telling. And I want to give a sense of what their lives were like, the struggles and the limitations. Apart from a good story, I want the past to come alive for those who read my novels and for them to see that those who came before us were real people. While they may have held some attitudes that we now find objectionable, at their core they were just like we are today. They wanted shelter and warmth, freedom from illness and want, love and security, a space to hope and dream, and a better future for their children.

There is satisfaction in seeing a project to its end, holding in your hands a printed copy with a beautiful cover of the story you have worked on for several years. Although the final product has never achieved my initial vision for the story, I suppose if I were to achieve something that I thought was perfect, I would be too terrified to write anything else.

The greatest satisfaction of all is knowing that ordinary readers have enjoyed my stories. One of the first comments on The Bridled Tongue, under the heading ’A wonderful book’ was I usually skip through portions of a book when I read but read every page of this one!’ What more could an author ask for?

 


*The follow up to this story: My great-grandfather came home from work the same evening, puzzled and rather pleased with himself. He had managed to get a bridle off a large koala. It was in good condition so he said it would do as a second-best bridle. But, come Sunday, when he went to saddle the horse for the trip to church, he found his best bridle was missing. The truth came out and the story ended as so many of my grandfather’s stories did, ‘And I ended up with a tanned backside.’






Thank you for being our guest this week, Catherine. Wishing you continued success with your stories.


Thank you to all the wonderful readers and visitors. Please share your thoughts with us and leave a comment below.

Saturday, 19 February 2022

The Story Behind the Story with novelist Anne Smith-Nochasak of Nova Scotia, Canada.


 

I had the opportunity to read the review of Anne’s novel – A Canoer of Shorelines - on The Miramichi Reader. See it HERE. The title alone piqued my interest and I decided to follow Anne on Twitter, hoping to discover more about her and her writing.

I’ve since invited her to share the Story Behind the Story and she has graciously accepted.

Let’s meet Anne.

 

I grew up in rural Nova Scotia and did many things before turning to teaching. For most of my teaching years, I worked in northern and Indigenous communities, places of joy and learning for me. I now live full-time in Nova Scotia. A Canoer of Shorelines is my first novel, written summers at my shoreline retreat and revised winters over several years. My WIP is a fictional story of incompatible youthful love that is recreated in maturity, in the North and elsewhere.

Title: A Canoer of Shorelines





Synopsis:

How will you know when you have arrived if your life keeps going in so many directions?

A Canoer of Shorelines weaves together the stories of Julie Martin and Rachel Hardy, who both have a childhood attachment to Meadowbrook Acres and try to reinvent their lives there as adults. When Rachel fails to recreate her home and come to terms with her family there, she flees to her cabin to make sense of her life through her journal. Julie in the present narrative has dreams for her cherished landmark but learns that more than paint and mowing will be required. Dreams come to dominate Julie's time at Meadowbrook Acres; she is touched by her landlord’s past and begins to dream a sweet and sentimental world for him. The dreams darken, though, and overlap at times with the stories and thoughts of Rachel. The house itself is not the dream home they sought; it becomes instead a “dream house” swollen with stories that haunt them both. These stories take on new meanings as they stumble to find their place in the world.

Both struggle with family relationships: There are moments of light and of darkness in Rachel’s journal as she journeys through the world of her mother, Rose. For Julie, her own quest is linked to her parents’ struggle for self-realization. For both, there is the guiding wisdom of Laila.



The pivotal experiences take place at the old farm, but along the shoreline the key lessons are learned. To be a “canoer of shorelines” one does not need skill or gear or even paddles; one needs only an appreciation of the beauty of the moment.



 

The Story Behind the Story:

 I grew up in a creaking old farmhouse where unexplained sounds and lights were part of the character of the house. My mother lived there alone in her senior years while her health gradually declined. Brooding over my past one summer afternoon, I decided that this could be a thriller: a solitary protagonist struggling for survival in a haunted farmhouse…... However, as I began to write, the characters would not allow this. Through them, I came to realize that this was a story of forgiveness, love, and acceptance. Through them, I came to understand my own roots better, and to learn that I, too, had a place in the world, there among those who “hold you in their hearts whether they understand you or not.” The characters are fictional, but they are inspired by flashes of memory and feeling; through them, I have tried to affirm and bless the people of home.

 

Website: www.acanoerofshorelines.com

 


A question before you go, Anne.

What’s been the most enjoyable and the least enjoyable about your writing journey?

 

Anne:

The most enjoyable parts of the writing journey have been entering the world of my characters and sharing that world with others. I looked forward to summer afternoons immersed in the lives of Rachel and Julie; editing on winter afternoons was also a delightful retreat. A story is, however, also shaped by its audience. As I connected with readers at a personal level, I came to understand my story better. Their questions, reflections, and ideas have been a gift.

The hardest part for me was facing promotions. Like the character Julie, I am not comfortable out there. I could generate paperwork, but I was terrified of encountering its recipients. In the local markets, I discovered a world that was kind and supportive. The online writing community has been wonderful. Bookstores and libraries welcome authors of all walks of life; genuine reviewers and readers encourage you and participate in your journey. There really are “friends from all walks of life to see you strong.”  


 A note from Anne: 

When I lived summers on a lake near Kejimkujuk Park, I rose each morning to see the sun rising across the water. As "wasaya" is an Ojibway-Cree term meaning "beautiful sunrise", my cove became Wasaya to me. I shared it with the character Rachel, because it seemed to suit her.

 

Thank you, Anne, for sharing your thoughts with our readers. Wishing you continued success in your writing journey.

 


Thank you also to my devoted visitors and readers. Please take a moment and leave a comment. Would love to hear from you.

Saturday, 12 February 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Pierre Arseneault of Moncton, NB, Canada.

 


Let’s welcome Pierre back.


It has and it has not been a long time since Pierre has been a guest.  Most recently Pierre and I and seven other authors have collaborated on an anthology which has been well received and garnishing great reviews. More HERE.

Otherwise, Pierre was featured in a series of New Brunswick authors in 2015. See HERE.


It’s a pleasure to have him back and he is telling us about what’s new.

 

 

Pierre C. Arseneault is an author living in New Brunswick, Canada. So far, he’s written both solo and in collaboration in many genres including suspense, thrillers, crime, horror, drama and even a dark comedy.

Pierre is working on multiple projects at the moment. He’s written a new drama set in Carlton which is a sequel to some of the content in the anthology, Sleepless Nights. He’s currently writing a crime thriller and also working on Oakwood Island volume 3 with collaborator, Angella Cormier. His next solo horror novel titled Maple Springs is set for release in October 2022.

 

Working Title:

The current working title is Oakwood Island volume 3; with its actual title to be revealed at a later date.

 

 


Synopsis:


Oakwood Island volume 3 is the final installment in a trilogy based on a blend of supernatural, curses, monsters and the earie but true existence of a parasitic fungus which causes what some call zombie ants. And while the books are not about the ants, I assure you said fungus and ants are real and have be found in the amazon rainforest. With that said, volume 3 will see revelations, conclusions and explanations of the strange happenings on Oakwood Island.



 

The Story Behind the Story:

As a writer, I’ve written both short stories and novels. I’ve also written solo and also in collaboration as well, which often boggles the minds of writers who’ve never collaborated. And as I’ve told many in the past, collaborating is fascinating to me as when discussing the story idea and feeding off each other’s input, this will lead us down storylines that we would have never gone down alone.

When Oakwood Island began, it was because of a conversation we had had about creating a setting and telling short stories set in this setting. So alone and over the span of about a month, Angella Cormier wrote three short stories set on her creation of Oakwood Island. I can tell you that I loved these stories, the setting and characters and the way she had interlinked them all together fascinated me. This left me wanting more.



And at this point, I need to point out that we had begun collaborating and together we had written the short story titled Henry and were already working on a few more which would end up being published in the book, Dark Tales for Dark Nights.




But discussions about her trio of short stories evolved into where these stories could possibly lead, something that had yet to be thought out. And feeling these were simply too good not to develop, this lead to us working together to eventually turn this into a trilogy.

With that said, the original stories had nothing to do with an amazon fungus and zombie ants. Those were the results of an overactive imagination and needing to explain some events that had not been fully developed yet. So, book one was the result of us expanding on the original three stories (which are in book one), developing them and adding back stories and just having a lot of fun. Book two was us steering the tale into a direction to further develop and expand some of the storyline. Book three will be filled with revelations, conclusions and explanations of the strange happenings on Oakwood Island.

 

Website:  http://www.mysteriousink.ca/books.html

 

 

 

A question before you go, Pierre.

What have been the most enjoyable and the least enjoyable about writing?

 

Pierre: My favorite part about writing is the empty page at the very beginning of a new work and the possibilities it represents. You can be anywhere and be anyone as the possibilities are endless. My least favorite is probably the pressure I put on myself, forgetting to just breath and enjoy it. That comes with having ideas come easy with not enough time to write them all. So, I have to keep reminding myself that it’s one sentence at a time.

 


 

Your new novel sounds intriguing, Pierre. Thanks for being our guest this week and sharing your thoughts. Wishing you continued success with your writing journey.



Pierre will also be a guest in the near future on the popular page – Shorts – Stories from Around the World. He is contributing a delightful tale titled – Lucky.

 

And a BIG thank you to our visitors and readers. Please share your thoughts and leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.




Sunday, 6 February 2022

Autumn Paths. The Reviews are in! The journey continues! Book Tour! Teasers!

 




Autumn Paths

You visitors are in for a treat this week.

Lots of exciting news for the Anthology. Read about the book tour below.

Follow the rest of this post to read the beginning of each story - Teasers

The reviews are in.



**** “The authors did a wonderful job creating engaging and thought provoking stories around the central theme.” Author Sally Cronin.

**** “Each story is short enough to read during lunch break or for a quick read before turning in for the night. Author Joan Hall.

**** “Don’t let the title Autumn Paths mislead you! These snappy, well-written tales are sure to delight no matter the season.” Author MJ LaBeff.

**** “Original, entertaining and a darned good read, Autumn Paths, An Anthology, is a great collection of stories well told, by nine very memorable authors.” Eden Monroe.



Autumn Paths is going on a tour. Thanks to Author Angela Wren who worked diligently to bring this all together. Thanks to the participating websites for helping us share the news, reviews, excerpts & more!

 


See below for URLS




 

 

 

All the Way Home

By SandraBunting

 

 

A FEW PEWS UP THE HAT BOUNCED, turned from side to side and ruffled slightly in the breeze that swept in from the open doors at the back. Aurèle couldn’t take his eyes off it. Some niece or other from Montreal he thought. A face was not visible, only the wisps of feathers adorning the headpiece. Others were no doubt taking in the flowers, looking at relatives from out of town in their sophisticated dress, or glancing impatiently at the door where the wedding party would soon start up the aisle. But Aurèle, with a wistful smile on his face, was fixated on the hat. It was a stunning blend of natural tan and black, at times coloured a deep purple by the church’s stained glass windows. It wasn’t that Aurèle was a follower of fashion. Not at all! With the feathers he was transported back to the woods during partridge hunting.

 

 

The Path to Redemption

By Pierre C. Arseneault

 

 

THE PATH MYLES BARTLETT had worn into the old beige patterned linoleum flooring, bothered him. He couldn’t help it. He hadn’t noticed it until it was too late. His sneakers had collected gravel from outside.  And he had done something he wasn’t supposed to do; he had worn the sneakers in the house. His overbearing aunt whom he had to live with after his parents passed away, had engrained this into him at the tender age of eleven. At twelve, the insurance money from her sister’s passing was released and Roberta, his aunt had had new linoleum put in. From then on, wearing shoes in the house became an even greater offense. He couldn’t help think the scratches like he had now worn into it would have earned him a severe punishment. Probably the strap. Roberta, his childless aunt reserved the physical punishments for severe infractions only. Most times he would be sent to bed without supper or made to stand in the corner while she went about her business, ignoring the child she took reluctantly into her care. He didn’t have to wonder about her distaste for him as she said it to her friends on the very first day he came to live with her.

 

 

Footfall

By Chuck Bowie

 

 

I’m writing a series about a thief for hire, and I’m a fan of Allan Hudson’s Drake Alexander series, about a vigilante who rights wrongs. I thought it would be fun to have the protagonists meet and interact in a short story. Would they conflict, or would they collaborate?

 

 

DRAKE ALEXANDER FOLLOWED THE PATH from his estate to the Cocagne Bay shoreline, the marram grass swishing against the legs of his jeans. Shorts and bathing suits weather had passed, and the fall foliage offered a clear indication that summer would not return for another year. The lyrics of a JJ Cale song refused to leave his head: ‘Crazy Mama, where you been so long,’ but a smile, as well, refused to part. He’d gotten closer with someone—Beth Stone—and a three-year adventure, a quest, really, had been concluded with success. He could now forever put to rest his life as a soldier, and focus on thoughts of marriage.

        Crossing over the last, tiny dune before hitting the beach, he noted with approval the neap tide; neither so high nor low as normal tides, thanks to the combined forces of the sun and the moon. The sun sat just above the horizon and he hoped to enjoy a few moments of solitude before spending the evening alone. The previous month had been a roller coaster of events, filled with danger, but he was home, and wanted to rest. A pair of binoculars, a gift from his friend Williston, bounced gently against his deeply tanned chest, and he carried a bottle of Orin Swift Palermo and a pair of Riedel fat-bowl wine glasses.

 

 

Red Stars

By S. C. Eston

 

“Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”

- David Ogden Stiers

. Segment A

SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH HER. Something about her mind and her thoughts. Something… about herself.

Eltaya opens her eyes, hoping that the sight of her lodge will ground her back into reality. But it doesn’t. The shiny white walls and floor feel alien. The cushioned grey chair on which she sits is stiff, rejecting her. The oval terminal balancing on a pole in front of her is blank and cold. She can’t ignore the feeling that the place belongs to someone else.

She wishes her parents and brother were here, visiting. She wishes she could visit them. More than anything, Eltaya misses the sound of her mother’s voice, a voice she hasn’t heard in over sixteen years. Her family has now been absent from her life longer than it has been in it.

At least, there is the tree.

It stands in a corner of the room, to her right, its trunk bending as it climbs along the wall and then the ceiling, until it looks down upon her. Her mother kept one like it in her apartment, although Eltaya doesn’t remember it being this tall.

 

 

The Bookseller's Secret Octavo

By Angela Wren

 

September, 1981, the village of Beauregard, France

ALICE TOMLINSON STOPPED AT THE WOODEN BENCH across the road from the bar. Her suitcase neatly tucked in at her feet, she sat and lifted her face to enjoy the last vestiges of warmth from the late afternoon sun. The walk from the station, just like the interminable journey by train from Calais, had been difficult. Alice was tired and irritable, and she felt sure the pain in her left heel was a substantial blister. She quietly cursed her choice of footwear.

She glanced at her watch. “Well, twenty past three on a Friday afternoon means you’ll be in the bar, Dad.” She stood and took a firm grip of her case. “And if not, I’m sure someone will know where to find you.” Alice tossed her dark red hair back and stepped into the road. Straightening her shoulders, she adopted the determined look she always wore when negotiating a seller’s price down to the absolute minimum - she usually achieved her goal. Pausing at the open wooden door of the bar, she took a breath. The interior glass door fitted badly, and she had to give it a hefty shove to gain access.

 

 

The Maze

By Monique Thebeau

 

FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD JACOB ABBEY was born in captivity, in a manner of speaking. Not in a prison, but far worse. A fair number of people knew about it – uncles, aunts, grandparents, even teachers, for God’s sake, but it was fifty-two-year-old janitor, Lesley Longfellow, who took it upon himself to set him free. Lesley was easy to spot in the school, rising above the crowded hallways like a cattle-god watching over his pasture, his balding head a beacon of light even on cloudy days. It was the day after Victoria Day, and exactly two months after Jacob had lost his mother to ovarian cancer. Lesley had taken the day off and driven, with the stamina and determination of his younger self, to the Heartland Farms on the outskirts of town. His mission was simple. Take Jacob away from his narcissist and alcoholic father.

 

 

 

Winter Tar

By Jeremy Thomas Gilmer

 

 

WE STOOD, WE TWO, UP ON TOP OF THE GAIN, the hill that overlooked the rough cut of the bay below us, and we watched the sparrows hook and meander on those cold winds, and I thought of what those winds would bring. Devlin was a few winters older than me, how many neither of us knew, but a few at least. He wore those years like he wore the sash around his shoulder, the hard blue of it marking him as a man of our tribe, a watcher and a protector. We watched the sparrows swoop and we marvelled at their speed and freedom, their rightful claim to that air over our heads, lost to us, leaving us on the hard ground to fend for ourselves.

        Dev took his eyes from those flyers, and I watched him as he looked to the horizon, the grey blue meeting the blue grey. He squinted into it and the paint across his temples disappeared in the wrinkles. A few of our people’s teaches lay down in the low ground, the thatched roofs looked so fragile from way up here. They were so warm and dark at night, quieting the world outside to the sound of wind off the ocean. My coat was only just fighting off this wind and I wished for the warm glow and slow fire that night would bring. Dev clicked his tongue, and we were off, down the gain.

 

 

Warriors and Trickery

By Allan Hudson

 

 

EVERYBODY CALLS HIM FRECKLES. Can’t be helped. His face is cheerfully covered with them. Tiny spots of Irish blood spread across his upper cheeks and splattered on his nose. With the red hair and green eyes, the girls at school say he’s cute. To an eleven-year-old boy, being classified as cute in front of his friends is not a compliment. The boys tease him. Call him Cutie. At least until they tire of it. Mary Ellen doesn’t tease him. She’s not a boy, but she’s one of the boys, and with her short hair, is often mistaken for a boy. She doesn’t care, and he tries to be like her and not let things bother him. The only other one who doesn’t call him Cutie is Ducker, their leader.

Right now, Ducker is standing on the side of the road, near a brook that gurgles under the wide culvert they are gathered on. It’s a dirt road, rutted from the rain last week but now as dry as the Gobi and just as dusty. The brown trim around the bottom of their jeans and covering their sneakers shows how parched the ground is. A path, narrow and cupped from years of meandering feet, follows the brook.

 

 

Path to Nowhere.

By Angella Cormier.

 

 

A BIRD CHIRPED SEVERAL HIGH-PITCHED BURSTS AS A WARNING CALL. The female was sounding off to the predators who came too close to her nest. The hatchlings had been startled. It was an animal's nature to be fully in the present, ever aware of the dangers that could appear at any moment. The pair in the woods, their assumed predators, had been identified and warned as soon as they came too close. 

Humans are a completely different kind of species. They don't always live fully in the moment. The pain that can bring runs much, much deeper than any predatory threat or attack. The lucky few learn that sometimes, the past is best left alone.

 

 


 

 

 

Get you copy HERE.

 

I am humbled to be part of this clever collaboration with authors I respect and admire.

 

Watch for Winter Paths – coming late 2022.

 

Thank you for visiting.


    URLS for Book Tour

Autumn Paths - Blog Tour Feb 9th - 13th

Date

Blog/Website

Review/Excerpt/Q&A

Authors

 

 

 

 

February  9th

http://www.frenchvillagediaries.com/

Review e-copy

 

 

https://northernreader.wordpress.com/

Review hardcopy sent by post

 

 

http://insatiablereaders.blogspot.com/

Spotlight Excerpt

Sandra

 

https://nickislifeofcrime.blogspot.com/

Review e-copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 10th

https://jessicabelmont.com/

Review e-copy

 

 

https://bookshortie.wordpress.com/

Review hardcopy sent by post

 

 

https://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com/

Spotlight Excerpt

Chuck

 

https://www.instagram.com/mrsbookburnee/

Review hardcopy sent by post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11th

https://medium.com/@authorbeccamcculloch

Review e-copy

 

 

https://www.instagram.com/books_from_the_shed/

Review e-copy

 

 

https://portable-magic.com/

Spotlight Excerpt

Angella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12th

https://thetamijournal.wordpress.com/

Review hardcopy sent by post

 

 

https://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com/

Review e-copy

 

 

https://www.jazzybookreviews.com/

Spotlight Excerpt

Jeremy

 

https://www.instagram.com/duckfacekim09/

Review hardcopy sent by post

 

 

 

 

 


 

Autumn Paths - Blog Tour Feb 9th - 13th

Date

Blog/Website

Review/Excerpt/Q&A

Authors

 

 

 

 

13th

https://www.instagram.com/rozierreadsandwine/

Review e-copy

 

 

https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com/

Q&A

PCA SCE AH MT AEW

 

https://www.instagram.com/snowphiethebookworm/

Review e-copy

 

 

https://sharonbeyondthebooks.wordpress.com/

Review e-copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel free to leave a comment.