June Promptlies >> Week 3

Welcome, WELCOME, one & all! Today begins Week 3 of my writerly link-up!
I know it's Monday.  But yesterday I woke up a bit under the weather & with no energy to get this post up yesterday. . . So here we are! 
My usual Name post will be up tomorrow! never fear. :]


This is a writerly link-up---and by that I mean it's geared towards hobby writers, storytellers, & aspiring authors (as well as published ones!)---but it's ABSOLUTELY open to EVERYONE.

For the lovely month of March, we're diving into five weeks of writing prompts.  This is the second week, so there's four chances (including this week) to jump in on this---whether you're able to join one or all!

Find the how-to's below.  MUST READ --->


>   Use the prompt (below) to write a short story/paragraph/excerpt, then post that short on your blog. The deadline for posting that particular prompt each week is Saturday, but you are free to share said story on ANY day before then—this could be as soon as you've completed the little story, or any other day of the week you have free from your usual blog posts.
Each story should be a minimum of 300 to a max of 1000 words!
>  Use the "Promptlies" banner (above), & make sure to link back to this blog somewhere.
>  Revisit THIS POST to share your link via the link tool at the bottom of this page so everyone else may visit to read the treasure you've written.
>  No foul language or vulgarity of any kind.
>  No sensuality.
>  Keep blood & gore to a minimum please!
>  Try out a new genre! This is the perfect opportunity to write something NEW. Or perhaps a great way to revamp & use characters from a current (or old) WIP for these prompts. Whatever it may be, be creative!
And spread the word!!! A potential giveaway is coming sometime in April, but ONLY IF this little blog manages to reach 110 followers.  :]

> > > > > < < < < <

BEHOLD, your prompt for this week!


Happy writing!!!

> > > > > < < < < <

SHARE YOUR LINK HERE!


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
This linkup will be open for this particular prompt until Saturday, June 22nd.  So make sure you get this week's link in by then!  But if you miss it for some reason, no worries---you can jump in anytime.  Just leave a comment below so I can visit your blog!

<333

Lizzie (& Griff) >> June Promptlies #2

Happy Friday!!!
It's Week 2 of my June Promptlies Link-up!
Click HERE for the info.  :]

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Soooooo. . . I did a thing.  AGAIN.  Yeah.  I kinda brainstormed another story idea---which kinda is an old story I'd thought up a year or two ago but never really did anything with---and have a shiny new cast of characters for this week's prompt as well as the hankering to write this story along with the other 23549513887 things I need to doHA.  WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING.  Oh. I guess I really am a writer, y'all!  Nothing published, but STORIES IN MAH HEAD. . . *internal screaming*

*COUGH*

But this one.  THIS ONE. Is a Western!  You know how I absolutely adore Louis L'Amour westerns and that I've been reading them since I was literally two years old? (Seriously, my mum has a video of me walking around with my dad's L'Amour novel---upside down---babbling to myself at age two.)  Well, I got this crazy idea of wanting to do a faerietale retelling set in the Wild West in the late 1800s.  There's not all that many retellings set/inspired by the West---except now! thanks to Kyle Robert Shultz & his Crockett & Crane series.  <--LOVE.  So, I wanted to write one, but feature a tale on the little-known side.  And this prompt was perfect to get me thinking again about this idea again.

Howevah. . .
I'm going to be mean & not tell you which faerietale. . .  You die-hard faerietale fans must guess which one I'm using.  If you answer correctly, I'll send as many virtual cookies as possible.  ;D

So go on.  Please read!


> > THE PROMPT < <


I TRIIIIIED to keep this in the max limit of words, but it was impossible.  I couldn't take anything out, because it felt so necessary. . . And HOPEFULLY it'll be so engaging you won't even know it's 683 words over the max count. . . heheh.

Enjoy!

> > MY STORY < <

Photo by Eileen Wong on Unsplash

          I glare at Yance and his stubborn-set face. Despite the stern expression, his eyes hold a sense of urgency and sorrow. I couldn’t blame him, nor the rest of my brothers standing around us.
          They were innocent.
          But—somehow—there was too much stupid, false evidence against them. All of them.
          And it was forcing them to run. Something they wouldn’t dream of doing—they were too proud.
          I attempted to swallow back the tears like the tough ranch girl I tried to be, daughter of the late reigning ranch lord and sister to seven steel-backed cowboys. The wild ways of the West had taken Papa just a year before, and now it seemed I would lose my brothers as well.
          A blasted tear escaped. I was never good at hiding my emotions.
          But I wanted to be brave. I wanted to fix this. What would I do without them? I couldn’t run the ranch on my own. I couldn’t protect our assets of cattle, pastureland, natural springs, and rich soil. This was our kingdom. Even with our faithful hired hands, how could I keep it all together and promise safety and good pay with the land-hungry neighbors all around?
          And when would I see these dear faces again?
          Yance, and his gentle, chocolate eyes. Ben’s hearty laugh. Marsh, and his bear hugs. Dan’s gift for music. Anders, and his way with horses. Zach’s incredible woodwork. And Leo’s listening ears. Of them all, I felt closest to Leonel, who was two years older than me, the youngest.
          The tears were flowing freely now. But I didn’t care. I felt each of my brothers gather around and wrap me in their arms. They didn’t say much. But no one had to. I could practically taste the urgency and tension in the air. It wasn’t every day one’s brothers were accused of murder. And all seven of them to boot. I didn’t think I’d ever understand how that happened. But I knew their story, and I trusted them with all my heart.
          Finally, someone broke our circle. But I’d never forget how safe and loved I’d felt in the midst of it. I brushed my tears away with the sleeve of my dress, twisting my apron in my hands and determining in my heart to be strong.
          “Be careful,” I began, my voice shaky at first, but gaining that façade of confidence I wanted them to hear. “And don’t worry about me. I will manage—you can be certain of that, if anything. But please—be safe. The Navajo won’t take kindly to trespassers—no matter how friendly you’ve been to their chief.”
          Leo squeezed my hand, stopping them from strangling my poor apron. “We’ll be fine, Lizzie,” he said softly, and the others murmured assent. But I watched Yance, who seemed to be taking this the hardest. As the eldest, I’m sure he felt torn in his big-brother job of protector—to help his brothers, or to watch over me. But we all knew it wasn’t I who faced danger. Still, the sense of helplessness was threatening to drown us all.
          They had to go. Nothing but a noose waited for them here—and I was keeping them too long. Even the safety of our secret cove and the tranquil canyon where we found current refuge would soon be discovered as the lawmen tore our ranch apart searching for innocent men.
          Anger began to boil in my veins.
          I would prove their innocence.
          Somehow.
          Or die trying.

▲▲▲

          Railroad millionaire, Griff Morrow, had traveled across the entire country from the East to West coast, but only one Wild West flower caught his eye in all those miles of track and townships. And she was walking toward him.
          Lizzie Swann.
          From the rumors around town, her large homestead was in danger of collapsing. Until now, he had assumed the references to a Miss Swann and her failing ranch were that of an older woman, mature in her years, and the subject of scorn because she wouldn’t accept any decent offer for her land. Already neighboring ranchers were pushing cattle onto her borders—the greedy scum. And if he were to believe the gossip, she’d lost half of her hired men due to unseemly accidents. It seemed someone wanted her property, and they were using fear to get it.
          But this was no elderly maid. Lizzie Swann was young and lovely, Griff observed, slightly surprised. Long, brown hair flowed in soft waves down her back framing an oval face with large hazel eyes. Her figure was slender and lean, but he could see from the way she held herself she had a strength all her own.
          Her eyes were what caught his attention. He imagined they held a sparkle when she laughed, but all he could see now was an underlying sadness.
          Talk of her brothers was most likely the cause of her suffering. It had been two weeks, but the murder was just as fresh in the minds of the townsfolk as if it had happened yesterday. One hardly made it two steps without catching a conversation tied to the crime of the year. He’d been here all of a week and was sick of it. Underneath the shadows in Lizzie’s eyes, he sensed she was as well.
          He stood to his feet as she approached his table. “Sir,” she began, her voice soft and gentle to his ears. “I must speak with you if you’ve a few moments to spare. Your foreman said I’d find you here.”
          “Miss Swann,” he said in greeting, then gestured to the empty seat across from him. “Please sit,” he offered, and helped her into the chair before taking his own once again. “May I order refreshment for you? A coffee perhaps?”
          Her eyes widened, and she began to protest, “Oh! No, I couldn’t—”
          “Please. I insist,” he added with a grin. He flagged a waitress and put in the order before turning back to her. Lizzie was clasping and unclasping her hands in a nervous manner, and he couldn’t help but catch her blush as she glanced at him and looked away.
          Their coffees came quickly and once her fingers were wrapped comfortably around her cup, he gave her his undivided attention. “Now, Miss Swann. How may I be of service?”
          She took a tentative sip, then placed her cup back down with a clink. “I’ve a business proposition, Mr Morrow, and I do hope you’ll consider it.” The sorrow returned to her pretty features as he watched her thoughts cloud her face. She continued, her words coming faster, “I have heard much of your reputation, sir, and know that first and foremost you are an honest businessman, and I wish to—to offer you the deed to my ranch and all the property and equipment it includes.”
          Griff blinked, caught unawares. But she went on.
          “I can’t do it without my brothers. And the longer time passes, the more I lose. I trust not a one of those other ranchers offering me ‘reasonable’ offers—my hired hands are practically terrified to set out to work each morning because of Madam Hotch’s men, and I cannot ask them to continue when their lives could be in danger. The sheriff—” Lizzie’s voice hitched, softening further to a whisper. “The sheriff turns a blind eye to their activities and won’t listen to me…”
          Griff listened quietly until her last sentence faded and all one could hear was the clinking of dishes in the hotel’s restaurant. If there was one thing he was known for, it was that he was a deep thinker. And no decision he ever made was on impulse, no matter how great the bargain. It was the key to his success in the railroad business. And would continue.
          “Please, Mr Morrow, will you buy my ranch? I made a promise to my brothers and it’s one I intend to keep. But I cannot do so while worrying about my home and the people and property entrusted to it.” She hadn’t touched her coffee again, but had returned to wringing her hands. “If you like, I will show you the property this afternoon, or tomorrow even.” She met his eyes more directly this time, in anticipation.
          “I am not one for hasty decisions, Miss Swann—”
          “Please, call me Lizzie.”
          He nodded acknowledgment. “But I would like to see the property, Miss Lizzie. From what I’ve heard, I’d say you are sitting on the best bit of land for hundreds of miles.”
          A smile tugged her lovely lips. “You would be correct, Mr Morrow. It’s my little kingdom, but it’s nothing without my brothers.” And just like that, her smile transformed.
          He leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table, and hoped his voice held the compassion he wished to convey. “I don’t know the details, Miss Lizzie. But I listen and I listen well. And if your brothers are anything like what these folks say, then they’re no murderers. We’ll look at the ranch this afternoon and I’ll sign the deed directly afterwards. And should all come out well in the end, perhaps someday you’ll be asking to buy back your little kingdom,” he said with a smile. Her features lit up, proving him right. Her eyes did sparkle when she smiled. The thought of wanting to know her better flitted through his mind.
          She ventured to grasp her coffee mug just as a blush graced her cheeks. For some reason, it flattered him he was the cause.
          “May I ask what you intend to do once ownership is transferred?”
          She sobered immediately, and a different kind of spark came to her eyes. “I’m going to prove their innocence.”
          He nodded thoughtfully. Wouldn’t he do the same if his brother was falsely accused of a crime? He didn’t know the Swann brothers, nor the whole of this entire mess, but something didn’t sit right, no matter what one heard. “How?”

          She smiled as if she possessed the biggest secret in the world. “I have a lead.”

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If you made it this far, I congratulate you!  This story is extremely low on the totem pole, but what did you think? Could you discern which tale inspired this one??

There's still time to enter the linkup! The link tool will be open until tomorrow night, so be sure to jump in before then.  :]  And have fun!

Ta-ta for now, y'all!

What's in a Name?

Good Monday to you, friends!

How was you weekend, may I ask?  Mine was lovely, albeit a little rainy.
Our little garden is finally coming in! It struggled so for quite a while, but is looking so good now & shouldn't be too much longer before I can bring in fresh veggies. *drools*  Do you & your family keep a garden each year?

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I've a fresh set of name, y'all!  This month is going to be busy with my writerly linkup, but I'm still planning on my usual posts & HOPEFULLY some book reviews at last. (They're piling up on me!!)  Also, I think this little blog will soon get a fresh new makeover!! SOOO excited.  I usually like to update my template & theme every year or two, and it's high time I did so now.  So keep yer eyes peeled!  I think I said that a month ago, but it's finally happening!! *^ - ^*

And be sure to check out this week's PROMPT for the June Promptlies linkup party!

Meanwhile, check out these names!

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Jansen
M English (modern)
YAN-sin, YAHN-sin, or JAN-sin

Variant of Jensen, from a Danish surname meaning "son of Jens"---which is a Danish form of John ("YAHWEH is gracious").


Areida
F | English (?)

Meaning unknown.  (This was the given name of Ella's best friend in Gail Carson Levine's novel [& film!] Ella Enchanted.)


Wodan
Germanic Mythology

Continental Germanic cognate of Óðinn, a form of Odin, meaning "inspiration, rage, frenzy."


Mariah
English
mǝ-RIE-ǝ

Variant of Maria (possibly meaning "beloved"), usually pronounced in a way that reflects an older English pronunciation of Maria. This name became popular in the early 1990s by American singer Mariah Carey (1970-).

Alejandro
Spanish
a-leh-KHAN-dro

Spanish form of Alexander, meaning "defending men."
NOTE:  This is the given name of a character in my WIP set in Spain. :]


Branka
Serbian, Croatian, Slovene

Feminine form of Branko, which is a diminutive of Branislav ("protection" combined with "glory") or Branimir ("protection" combined with "peace, love").







Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

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Talk to me!  What do you think of these lovelies??

Are there any themed meanings/names you'd like to see in these posts?  Like, names meaning "sun," "moon," or "stars"? Or "brave" meanings? Or names from different colors?  Let me know! I may feature them in the coming weeks.  :]

June Promptlies >> Week 2

Welcome, WELCOME, one & all! Today marks Week 2 of my writerly link-up!
Posting this late. . . But here we are!


This is a writerly link-up---and by that I mean it's geared towards hobby writers, storytellers, & aspiring authors (as well as published ones!)---but it's ABSOLUTELY open to EVERYONE.

For the lovely month of March, we're diving into five weeks of writing prompts.  This is the second week, so there's four chances (including this week) to jump in on this---whether you're able to join one or all!

Find the how-to's below.  MUST READ --->


>   Use the prompt (below) to write a short story/paragraph/excerpt, then post that short on your blog. The deadline for posting that particular prompt each week is Saturday, but you are free to share said story on ANY day before then—this could be as soon as you've completed the little story, or any other day of the week you have free from your usual blog posts.
Each story should be a minimum of 300 to a max of 1000 words!
>  Use the "Promptlies" banner (above), & make sure to link back to this blog somewhere.
>  Revisit THIS POST to share your link via the link tool at the bottom of this page so everyone else may visit to read the treasure you've written.
>  No foul language or vulgarity of any kind.
>  No sensuality.
>  Keep blood & gore to a minimum please!
>  Try out a new genre! This is the perfect opportunity to write something NEW. Or perhaps a great way to revamp & use characters from a current (or old) WIP for these prompts. Whatever it may be, be creative!
And spread the word!!! A potential giveaway is coming sometime in April, but ONLY IF this little blog manages to reach 110 followers.  :]

> > > > > < < < < <

Without further ado, here's your prompt for this week!


Have fun!

> > > > > < < < < <

SHARE YOUR LINK HERE!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
This linkup will be open for this particular prompt until Saturday, June 15th.  So make sure you get this week's link in by then!  But if you miss it for some reason, no worries---you can jump in anytime.  Just leave a comment below so I can visit your blog!

Happy writing.  <333

June Promptlies >> Week 1 Wrap-up!

Today wraps up the first week of my link-up! 


Thank you for reading!  If you missed adding your link for this week, please do so in the comments section on the original post 

Tomorrow begins Week 2!  Are you anticipating the next prompt??

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You can find my piece of flash fiction HERE I had a lot of fun creating the characters I used for this one---and the setting!  I'll probably be featuring them in the next prompt or two.  :]

Tell me:
Do you enjoy reading/writing contemporary drama stories?  or do you prefer fantasy? historical?
Let me know! I'm so curious.

This is the first time I've seriously attempted a drama.  No sword fights.  No possibility of magic.  No rambling adventure across an epic storyworld.  Still, I'm SO EXCITED.  But WHYYYYY did the idea have to come when I just started working on another new WIP mere weeks ago???

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Happy weekend!! <3 <3 <3

Gemma >> June Promptlies #1

Happy Friday!!!
It's Week 1 of my June Promptlies Link-up!
Click HERE for the info.  :]

> > > > > < < < < <

So.  I had this brilliant story idea pop into my head last week & absolutely REFUSE to leave.  Seriously.  That's all I did one morning after Gabe went down for his nap.  I sat in my favorite armchair & just WROTE.  It felt so good!!  By the time the day was done, I probably had a good three hours of writing in total (added up from free time throughout the day).

This particular story would read like a contemporary drama.  I think.  Something I've never attempted before because I usually tend to stick with Fantasy. . . heheh  But this one is set in SPAIN---of all places.  And I can't help but be excited.  *squeeeee*  I feel lazy though.  Writing a story that's set in the real world is gonna be HARD---difficult, to say the least.  It's going to take a ton of research, and it would be AMAZING if I could actually travel there. . .  Something I can't see happening for quite a while. But that's okay.  :]  This is just a BABY story---one that's barely begun to grow, so who knows?  Maybe a decade from now a trip to Spain would be possible???

Honestly, it's never crossed my mind to visit Spain.  If I were to travel overseas anywhere, I've always wanted to go to Australia, but my tastes have seemed to change & now lean more towards Iceland, Switzerland, or Ireland (notice a similarity??).  I suppose Australia is more for the accents than anything else.  ;D  haha.  But recently, Spain & it's exotic culture has called to me.  Hence, a spontaneous story set in said country.

But I digress.

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Here's a quick summary of my newest concept idea:

Gemma Quin is an introvert.  She much prefers the familiarity of her personal studio in her small hometown working on graphic design or creating things with her hands.  Her chapter in high school has ended, and along with her best friends, Cassidy, Caleb, & Reid, life is changing & moving forward at a pace she can't seem to keep up.  College pressure, an unknown future, & the upending result of change threatens to drown her.  She survived the gauntlet that is high school, she can survive whatever comes next, right?  Maybe.

When the siblings, Cassidy & Caleb, invite her to join the family on their annual Summer trip overseas---this year in Spain---Gemma surprises herself with an impromptu yes.  Little does she know this trip of a lifetime holds a world of possibilities:  inspiration, adventure, & maybe even a prince.

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Read on, if you wish to see my result of this week's writing prompt!


> > THE PROMPT < <


Nothing too exciting in this short story.  And totally first-draft-NOT-perfect stuff.  But hopefully it gives you a teensy taste of the characters & setting.  I already LOVE these guys.

> > MY STORY < <

          Gemma nearly plowed into her friend as Cassidy stooped suddenly with a gasp in the midst of the busy sidewalk. Her voice was theatrical in mock sorrow, “How the mighty have fallen!”
          “It’s a dropped chocolate bar. Stop being dramatic.”
          Her brother scoffed at her with an amused grin. He stepped beside Gemma to create a human barrier as Cassidy rescued what she referred to as the “rich and dreamy sweet of the heavens.” Her boyfriend, Will, just shook his head, matching Caleb’s smile.
          “Dramatic?” They walked on as Cassidy blew off the beleaguered chunk of chocolate, and continued her retort. “Who started quoting Shakespeare when his girlfriend dumped him? You do not associate a girl with the temperament of a shrew.”
          Gemma laughed, though the sound was lost in the noise of the tourist-filled street. She remembered that situation and had agreed—in her own mind, at least—that “shrew” defined that girl to a ‘T’. She’d been so relieved to see Caleb move on.
          He had just begun to counteract this little barb when his sister interrupted him. “Oh my gosh. Look at that view!”
          Pulling her ever-present camera from her neck, Gemma began snapping shots of the Barcelona Cathedral. Breathtaking. Just ahead of them, Reid and Ada had stopped as well and she discreetly captured a couple candid photos of the two.
          Spain. She still couldn’t believe she was here. And for the whole Summer!
Pinterest
          Her crew started walking again, no destination in mind, simply enjoying the perfect weather and the stunning sights. Gemma found herself dropping to the back to observe and take photos of anything that struck her fancy. She watched her friends admiring the buildings and the culture of Spain amidst the hustle and bustle of Barcelona. Tourists were everywhere on this cloudy, Summer Thursday. The temperature was a steady 74 degress—gorgeous for sightseeing, and absolutely perfect compared to the stifling 90’s of Gemma’s hometown in the States. She almost felt chilled.
          Bringing up the rear as she was, Gemma’s heart warmed watching each of her best friends. Cassidy and Will walked hand in hand, interrupted only when Caleb threw an arm around his sister to impart some of his ready humor. Cass laughed and took both guys by the arm as they continued up the street. Ahead of them Reid and his girlfriend Ada seemed to be enjoying the outing also. This was only day four of the summer-long tour of Spain and already they had seen so much.
          Someone bumped her arm and she almost muttered an automatic apology when she met Cassidy’s glowing features. Strawberry-gold hair framed her oval face and bright eyes. Her friend had always been stunning, with or without makeup. In contrast to Gemma’s own darker features and mild scattering of freckles, they were complete opposites in personality. Gemma loved Cass’s spontaneity—it inspired her to be more courageous. That’s what this trip was about, right?
          “How are you, Gem? Glad you came?” She accepted the proffered piece of chocolate as Cassidy linked arms with her. Cass didn’t share her chocolate with just anyone. A smile tickled Gemma’s lips as she stuck the sweet goodness in her mouth. Mmmm. Cassidy was so right. Rich and dreamy.
          “More than glad,” she replied, savoring the rich smoothness. She wasn’t much for words, especially with dark chocolate most likely coating her teeth. But she thought Cass could see just how grateful she was in the depths of her eyes.
          Her eyes.
          If there was one thing someone usually noticed about Gemma’s overall ordinary appearance—slender figure, long dark hair, and gentle features—it was her eyes. Her right was a soft brown, but her left was a brilliant blue. She had grown accustomed to the stares, but other than her family (which included Cassidy, Caleb, Reid, and even Will and Ada now), she always felt far too self-conscious in public.
          Cassidy adjusted her large shoulder-bag, grinning. “I just knew we had to save you from that bubble you’re always in. And why not go all out in a Summer-long tour of Spain?” her voice held the high, cheery note of the country’s syllable a beat longer.
          “Will is scouting ahead. There’s a cafe or two somewhere on this street, so he’s going to see if there’s any seating available for an early luncheon. He let the lovebirds know too,” she added, her eyes gesturing to Reid and Ada a few yards ahead. “You okay with that?”
          Gemma nodded, nudging her friend’s ribs. “Of course. We know how hungry you always are.” She caught Caleb’s smirk as he stood waiting for them to catch up, hands in pockets, blond shock of hair in his face. Cassidy had the natural metabolism of an athlete and could eat absolutely anything and not gain a pound. But she never let her weight or appearance fuel her status or choose her friends. Gemma had always admired her for that. If she had, the girls wouldn’t have kept their elementary friendship throughout high school.
          “Well, you’re right, as usual,” Cass winked. “I’m starving!”
          “Didn’t you just have a chocolate bar?” her brother asked, a teasing glint in his blue eyes—identical to Cassidy’s. He hooked his arm through Gemma’s. Sandwiched as she was between the twins, she found herself missing her own siblings.
          “Hullo-o. Appetizer, y’all,” Cassidy’s laugh chimed and she practically skipped, pulling Gemma and Caleb with her. They caught up to Reid and Ada, just as Gemma spotted Will waving from a cafe’s entrance further up the street. He was holding something in his hand, a wide grin on his face.
          Cassidy waved, then squealed. “You guys! He found more chocolate! Oh, Gem, he’s just PERFECT.” She pulled away to weave through the crowd towards her boyfriend, who stood looking victorious.
          Gemma laughed. “We know the way to her heart,” she said, pulling Caleb the rest of the way. His face held the brotherly look of a mock scowl.
          “He certainly doesn’t have to try too hard.”

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There's still time to enter the linkup! The link tool will be open until Saturday night, so be sure to hop aboard before then.  :]  And have fun!

Have a lovely week, y'all!

What's in a Name? | Places Edition!

Happy Monday!  And WOW. It's JUNNNNNE. Can you believe 2019 is already half over??
Have you any fun Summer plans this year??

It's the first Monday of the month & time for more place names!  :]

Enjoy!

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Brunswick
M | English, German

English form of a habitational name, a German city in Saxony now known as Braunschweig, which is derived from the original Middle Low German, a combination of elements bruns & wick, meaning "Bruno's settlement." The standard German form was adopted in 1573.


Valencia
F | Spanish, Italian, English, German

From the name of a city & the surrounding region in eastern Spain, which was originally named in Latin Valentia (Edetanorum), meaning "strength (of the Edetani people)".  It is derived from Latin valentius, meaning "strength, valor," which comes from valens "strong, vigorous."  Aside from the city in Spain, this is also the name of a city in Venezuela.

Sendai
Japanese

(Meaning unclear.) This is the name of the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, the largest city in the Tōhoku region, and the second largest city north of Tokyo. 


Indiana
English

Means "land of the Indians." The name of an American state in the Midwestern & Great Lakes region of North America.









Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

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Any faves of these?  Any you would add or could see using in your WIP?? Do you like the idea of place name? What genre(s) would you use a place name in?

Have a lovely week, y'all!
And don't forget about the fun Promptlies link-up!!!

June Promptlies >> Week 1

Welcome, WELCOME, dear beans & book-dragons & nerd-faeries and all those in between!

By the way, I apologize! I would have had this up WAYYYY earlier, but we've been all over the place this weekend, and my photos wouldn't upload. . . GRRRR.  But at last!

Today marks Week 1 of my writerly link-up party!


This is a writerly link-up---and by that I mean it's geared towards hobby writers, storytellers, & aspiring authors (as well as published ones!)---but it's ABSOLUTELY open to EVERYONE.

For the lovely month of June, we're diving into four weeks of writing exercises.  There are four Sundays with full weeks in June, so there's four chances to jump in on this---whether you're able to join only one or two, or ALL!

Find the how-to's below.  MUST READ --->


>  Use the prompt (below) to write a short story/paragraph/excerpt, then post that short on your blog. The deadline for posting that particular prompt each week is Saturday, but you are free to share said story on ANY day before then—this could be as soon as you've completed the little story, or any other day of the week you have free from your usual blog posts.
Each story should be a minimum of 300 to a max of 1000 words!
>  Use the "Promptlies" banner (above), & make sure to link back to this blog somewhere.
>  Revisit THIS POST to share your link via the link tool at the bottom of this page so everyone else may visit to read the treasure you've written.


>  No foul language or vulgarity of any kind.
>  No sensuality.
>  Keep blood & gore to a minimum please!
>  Try out a new genre! This is the perfect opportunity to write something NEW. Or perhaps a great way to revamp & use characters from a current (or old) WIP for these prompts. Whatever it may be, be creative!
And spread the word!!! (A potential giveaway is coming sometime in July, but ONLY IF this little blog manages to reach 115 followers. :])

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Without further ado, here's your prompt for this week!


Hahahaha. xD  I LOVE this one.
Have at it!
I can't wait to see what y'all come up with.

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Once you have your story written---and REMEMBER, it does NOT have to be perfect!!---add your link to this cool little gidget below!
SHARE YOUR LINK HERE!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter



This linkup will be open for this particular prompt until Saturday, June 8th.  So make sure you get this week's link in by then!  But if you miss it for some reason, no worries---you can jump in anytime.  Just leave a comment below so I can visit your blog!

Have fun!!!

Hullooo? Anybody there??

SO.
I did not mean to have blogger silence for nearly TWO WHOLE WEEKS.

I would get on to start my usual posts, then get distracted or just sit there staring blankly at the screen. . . Normally, missing my blog days ruffles my feathers & bothers me until I end up finally scratching up a post at 10:00 or 11:00pm.  But oddly enough, the past two weeks have been a lovely reprieve from the blogosphere (but one I've missed!!).  I've had a little time to think of upcoming posts, focus more on my home & some books I've been wanting to read, and overall take a wee break.  :]

But now I'M BACK!  This is just a hullo to update the goings-on 'round here & to remind you of my June Promptlies Link-up, which begins Sunday!


This link-up party features a new writing prompt for each Sunday of June.  You are welcome to take said prompt & write a little short story from 300-1000 words within a week's time, then share to your blog & link back to that Sunday's post here on my blog---that way, everyone's links will be in one place & readers can click from one to another.  Make sense??

Don't worry.
Come Sunday, I will be sharing the "rules"& all necessary details, and then we'll let the fun begin!

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This is open to any & all who wish to join, so spread the word!  There will be a POSSIBLE bookish giveaway in July, depending on the number of new friends who wish to join this blog.  :D

I hope you can take part!

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In the meantime, the weekend is almost here & Summertime has practically begun.  (WAIT.  IT'S BASICALLY JUNE???)

Have a lovely week, dear beans!
<3 <3 <3

Happy Weekend! + Announcement

By the time I find myself typing this, Friday has basically ended & so begins the weekend.  :]
Got any fun plans for the next few it's-practically-Summer-now days?

I was planning a writerly post today, but it still needs work, so I shall save it for now.  Here, you see me popping in for a few moments letting you know to keep yer eyes peeled for a couple fun things coming to my wee space.

FIRSTLY,


My Promptlies link-up is returning!

July is fast approaching for all you NaNoWriMers, which means the second Camp NaNo of the year begins.  Back in March, I hosted a link-up party in preparation for April's Camp & loved it.  To put it simply, writers can get STUCK & sometimes all that's needed is a little reboot to get the creativity flowing.  I came up with the Promptlies link-up for that purpose, because I was hitting a wall with my WIPs & just didn't know where to go.

For each week of March, and it will be the same in June, I featured a writing prompt & gave you an entire week to write a short story from 300-1000 words inspired by said prompt.  I HAD A BLAST.  Using characters from my WIPs (as well as some newbies), I felt better about my writing AND came up with a little plan on what I wanted to work on for April's Camp NaNo.  There's something so refreshing about simply free-writing & seeing where it goes.  Also, the prompts were loads of fun! (if I do say so meself)

THAT SAID
Beginning Sunday, June 5th, a shiny little writing prompt will appear on this blog & the party starts!

So keep watch! I'll have more details to come.
In the meantime, you can hop over HERE to get a better idea of what these Promptlies are.  :]

My prompt results from March:
(click images to read my short stories!)






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One last thing:

I'VE STARTED A BOOKSTAGRAM!!!


You can find my bookstagram at @abookishsarah
(The username is subject to change. . . I know, not very original---but surprisingly, it wasn't already taken. . . Still, may or may not keep.  I dunno.  It's growing on me!)

I'd be so very pleased if you pop over for a visit.  It's just a baby account with only five posts thus far, but that'll certainly change as time goes on.  :]

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Have a lovely weekend, dear beans!

Book Reviews || Cela Day Novellas

Show of Wonders
Cela Day

published
genre

{GoodReads}
Bianca loves taking care of animals backstage and out of the spotlight for the traveling circus called Show of Wonders. But then an unexpected event causes her to become a reluctant performer under the big top. As Bianca’s popularity with audiences grows, she threatens to displace the reigning star of the show, a beautiful high-wire walker – who also happens to be Bianca’s stepmother. When Bianca discovers her stepmother’s jealousy won’t stop short of magic-fueled murder, she must rely on her own wits – and the help of some mysterious strangers – to survive.

“This story was so original and immersive, it made for a great read!” – Judge, Rooglewood Press Five Poisoned Apples Writing Contest, for which Show of Wonders was selected as a Finalist entry.

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This was such a sweet retelling of the classic tale.  For starters, Bianca (whose character is loosely based on Snow White) is still a child---roughly twelve-ish years old.  She is a SWEETHEART.  And she lives her life---for as long as she can remember---traveling with the circus: The Show of Wonders, in which her father is the ringmaster & owner.  It boasts of acrobats, lions, show horses, a high-wire walker, and the like.  Bianca follows her daily routine of helping with the preparation, feeding animals, and watching the show from the sidelines, until a stranger shows up one night with an elephant, of all creatures.  Unexpectedly, but to her delight, Bianca is entrusted with the care of Lady---an extremely intelligent & gentle giant.  They quickly form a friendship & soon grow in popularity with the audiences of each show.

Bianca's stepmother, whom she later realizes they don't know much history about in the least, is the star of the show.  And she harbors a great jealousy & greed for any who would dare replace her act.  Don't worry! No spoilers here!  But I've gotta say, the DWARVES are my favorite.

No foul language or sensuality.  An easy read, and great for middle graders!

All in all, this is a delightful novella of the classic faerietale!  And it even has a hint of magic.  ;D

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Ages: 10+

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Wonder Mountain Christmas
A Cinderella Retelling
Cela Day

published
genre

{GoodReads}
Min's childhood in foster care was marked by loneliness, relieved only by her escape into books about the magical worlds of Narnia and Middle Earth. Now that she's of age, she's looking for a home in the mountains she's dreamed of all her life--only to find that working as a server in a luxury ski resort is not only lonely, but thankless and humiliating. 

And then, one snowy Christmas Eve, a stranger skis into the bar where Min is working and offers her a strange invitation that could change her life forever--if she has the courage to accept it.

Join Min in this heart-warming Christmas story as she searches for her true family and the home where she belongs!




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Another lovely retelling of a classic!  Min's story breaks my heart.  TT_TT  She's an orphan who doesn't belong anywhere.  When the Needles take her in as a little five year old, she believes she may have a chance at a real family, but it quickly become clear they don't want her.  And she learns Mrs Needle only chose to foster her because of how it will boost her part in society---make her & her family look good, basically.  Min is seen as lower in their eyes, and always gets the leftovers.  When her stepsister is invited to a birthday party at the mansion up the street, which in her eyes is a real castle, Min begs to go, if only to see what a castle really is like.  She finds comfort only in the stories she's heard.  Of course, Mrs Needle doesn't allow her to attend & leaves her home alone.  Determined, Min dons her best dress & puts on her most precious possession, a pair of beautiful ballet slippers & walks herself the few blocks to the castle's door.  Mrs Needle finds out, of course, and  is Min dragged away to the Needle house.  She accepts her fate, but discovers she lost a slipper in the transaction with Mrs Needle, with no hope of seeing it ever again.

Years pass, and Min is working at a local saloon near Wonder Mountain.  Out of the foster system, she still hasn't found her home.  And it's Christmas. She goes about her job, until a mysterious stranger gives her an invitation to attend a party at the long-abandoned House on Wonder Mountain.  Thinking it a joke, she brushes it off.  But one thing leads to another, and Min finds herself alone & hungry on Christmas Eve.  Her feet lead her to the old house on the mountain where joyous lights & music seem to emanate from.  She enters, despite her doubts and learns that even in the loneliness of hopeless situations, joy & fellowship can be found.

No foul language.  Some mention of alcoholic beverages:  cheap whiskey, rum eggnog, beer, etc.  A bartender uses a spittoon.

Min mentions to her co-worker that Christmas Eve is a holy day and that if she wasn't working, she'd go to church somewhere.  Some of the men listening scoff at her statement.  At one point, she walks by a nativity in someone's front yard & contemplates its meaning.

In conclusion, this was a lovely little story.  Min's character is so precious!  I just wanted to go in there & hug & hold her tight & tell her everything will be okay.  She has spent her whole life searching for a place to belong, and later coming to realize she's not meant to belong in this world---she was made for another! And all the while her family had been searching for her.

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Ages: 12+