Welcome to my world and beyond...

A collection of snippets of the books I write and, occasionally, my life and the things that inspire my writing...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Only One Answer: Love Endures

Beyond this snow covered winter wood,
an orchard where once grandma stood,
waits beneath the pewter sky
Soundless, dying, as time creeps by.

Years and ages, passed undefined,
Unbridled to yesterday, fate, resigned.
One question. Just one. Existence implores.
Oh aged trees, what endures?

In biting wind of the frigid clime,
Existence assailed only by time.
The tree, its branches lifted above,
without words, replied, only love.

Existence gazed on, apple tree afar,
rattling remains, gnarled branch and scar.
The answer, tell. Yon tree must be wrong.
Wind shook dry wood, a winter song.

I sang in beauty, one summer day,
my glory, fleeting, did not stay.
How was I once so, I can inform
loving eyes rested upon my form.

Yon tree, mindless, yet wizened much,
would have no life without loving touch,
of a woman death took long years ago,
who loved the orchard in sun, snow.

All things cease; life does pass,
beyond veil, horizon, looking glass.
Grandma, the orchard, mine, yours,
in time move on.  But love...endures.

In the dead of winter, the black of night,
When life has fled, even light,
Look to that across which all transcend
Love is the only and all, without end.

Wars, hatred, violence fade ever,
Love breathes life, tomorrow forever. 
One answer. Just one. To all afters, befores,
only one answer. Love endures.
 Copyright 2012 All rights reserved.  Teresa K Cypher

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Most Beautiful Tree...Ever

Today, while running through my mental list of stops along the Christmas marathon, I thought about getting our tree--a live one, the blank canvas on which we will create a masterpiece, the perfect one. Yeah, that's it: the perfect one.

By the time we get it home, we will have trekked across acres of tree farm, chosen and unchosen at least a half a dozen different trees, decided that the one farthest from the Jeep is THE one, had saw in hand aimed and ready only to decide that the one closest to the Jeep is actually much more perfect. (Are there really degrees of perfection?)

Every year.  Yep.  Every year it happens just like that.

With Clark Griswold in mind, we'll have it tied to the roof of the Jeep--which, with a long stretch of the imagination, resembles a station wagon.  

My thoughts wandered as my mind wondered.  A quote got stuck in my head.  Unlike a notorious song (think Dominic the Donkey) that gets stuck in a person's head, and then plays and replays and replays some more, there was nothing unpleasant about the quote.

"Remembrance , like  a  candle, burns brightest at Christmas time." The words of Charles Dickens certainly ring true.

Reminiscing about Yuletides past, I recalled a Christmas eve.  The kids were all here to help decorate the tree...and decorating the tree has never, ever been just a chore that must be done. No far from it.  It is a sweet, nostalgic journey through my history, my children's history and it becomes, in effect, story time.

Tim, son-in-law to be at the time, was part of the tree trimming that year.  And being so new to the family, he didn't already know all of the stories. So they were told with such relish...and perhaps exaggerated a 'tiny' bit.

We sorted through the ornaments after DdotCdot put all of the lights on, and <blush> no, there was not a problem with that set of lights...remember? Even though they didn't light when they were plugged into THAT outlet???  Why must we forget, every year, that a light switch on the wall controls power to THAT outlet.  

The tree was a con-color...and it cost way too much, but con-colors smell of tangerines, so we splurged  Every tiny pinch of pine needles gave way to the heady fragrance of citrus and pines and recollections of other Christmases.  The needles were soft; I had long before ceased giving into the urge for spruce trees.  Nothin' pretty about choosing to trim a tree while wearing leather gloves, or else bleed..

The ornaments came out of the boxes, one by one, and I watched as they graced tender branches with colors and shapes, noting how areas on the tree were framed by groupings of them. 

I smiled while listening to Zigzee and Tim discuss, and then agree, that it was okay to have groupings of similar Mexican clay ornaments.  I spoke out of habit, like I was reciting part of a memorized family tale, "The ornaments were a gift from Carol, one of my dearest friends."

Grandma Painter's ornament, my inheritance from her via my mother, as always, took a place high on the tree. My daughter just knows.  Old, glass, and my mom is no longer here to give me another, it's not a beautiful ornament by any aesthetic measure.  In fact, the old blue paint is rubbed off and chipped in places.  But the train wrapping around its sides is still clearly discernible as such.

The ornaments go on, quickly at times. Zigzee and I discussed just which sheep ornament is the 'old goat'.  We determined that one is, indeed, the ornament that she proudly told her grand-pap (23 years earlier) was him because he "Was an old goat." and I laughed at the words as she spoke them...

Ah yes, this ritual has been repeated oft enough that she knows the stories...and they have become part of her history...part of her Christmas ritual.

And the other sheep?  Well of course, it was Abe's... Abe Keck.  And Zigzee added "He was such a nice guy.  It's really neat how he made a different ornament every year to give to all of his friends."

I smile and nod...and know that she can't imagine how inside I cry, remembering...  My dad...my mom, my grandma...old Abe Keck...yes they were real treasures,  And I began to grasp the thought that this was the essence of the tree ...for me.  Memories and reminders of people who would never be forgotten; people who have touched our lives in such loving and wonderful ways...and we give them these few moments...every year, with only shiny baubles and wooden trinkets as memory prompts.

I placed the Dixie-cup bells (covered with aluminum foil) on the branches...and smiled as I realize I have done them as a paired 'grouping', lol... but inside a sob threatened to surface for all to see. I recalled tiny hands and proud faces as the bells were presented to me, years ago.

Next I found the 'sugar' scoops that were made in a high school metal shop class.  And then Zigzee reminded me again that I originally had it all wrong, "You know mom, I did make the sugar scoop. I liked metal shop; it was sewing class that I didn't like. It was the green apron that I paid someone, with my lunch money, to make for me."

I smiled at her sheepishly...imagining that I had ever gotten that one wrong. I can hardly wait to tell her children when the day comes, or the evening, while we hang that ornament on Grandma's tree!

I hung the sparkly drummer boy made of metal, on a lower branch. It could take the fall if it was bumped off by one of the dogs or a hasty passerby.  I saw glitter as I looked at it, but it was the glitter in Natters eye's that appeared to me. A little two year old nightingale, singing "Wumpapumpum" I actually giggled a little as I recalled his sincere efforts to hit the high notes.  He was indeed, my little drummer boy...

Followed next was a dated rocking horse...baby's first Christmas 1986.  I blinked back tears.  Astounded, pained, and humbled...where on earth had 20 years gone?

Tim asked if we had a pickle ornament and a spider to put on the tree?

I was caught without either.

So he told us that the pickle was for good luck. (I'll search for one for next year's tree) then I smiled at the thought, if the truth be known...I'm already lucky.  Look at my life? But, then again, who would turn away good luck? I'd look for a pickle.

The spider story he told us, was about a tree that was beautifully decorated, but  a spider wanted to add to it. So he crawled on the tree and spun his web all over it.  When Santa, or God (two versions) saw the web, to spare the feeling of the spider who had the best intentions, turned the dull gray web into shiny silver...and that's the story of how tinsel came to be put on trees.

Next, I placed the angel stretched out over an iridescent glass bubble, on a high branch...twin to one that I bought for my mom at a high end Christmas shop.  But this one I found at a flea market for a quarter... and I thought that it shined a little nicer for that.

And there were the handmade beaded and quilted and tasseled ornaments, Victorian in appearance, yet they blended in with this eclectic assortment of love and sweetness, history old and new.

Yes...they came from the flea market too, and they are classy, but that's not the reason they hang on my tree year after year. I can still see the man's face as he told me his story  

As I hung the ornaments I heard his voice tinged with wistful longing for a life that was anything other than the one that had wended its way to his front door.  His wife had developed severe dementia...and she was far more than he could  care for alone. So they'd entered into an agreement with a retirement home. It was one that could give her the care that she needed but still allowed him to stay near to her. But he had to sell their home to pay for the room and the care. So there he was, parting with the trappings of his life for a quarter here, half a buck there.

And in that moment, his memories became mine, part of his history became permanently intertwined with my history...and the sweetness and the sadness of their life was marked upon mine.  I know that mark will remain for as long as my mind is able to recall those moments we shared at that flea market, reminiscing the beauty of those ornaments.

The ornaments poured from boxes, along with memories pouring from lips. A handmade snowflake from my friend Karen. A handmade pressed glass ornament with a head of queen Anne's lace pressed between the layers of glass, and edged in copper...Lora, Brel's mom presented as a gift. A lace angel and a lace bell made by a dear older friend, Dot, as a thank-you gift for the invite to a gingerbread party.

Tim hung the manatee ornament that he gave us the year before as a thank-you for including him in our family trip to Crystal River to snorkel with the manatees.  Such a thoughtful young man... my daughter chose wisely :-)

The plastic Barqs bottle amputation was hung up high, like every other year, by Nathan.  He was, after all, the artist involved with the creation. 

Remove bottom of bottle, top of bottle, and drill a small hole in the side near top edge, insert bread tie for hanging loop and voila!  (I included instructions just in case pure envy or admiration had anyone burning to create one of their own)
Amanda (Nate's wife) decides that he must have done it when they were 16, because she can recall him doing it...and their lives have been sung as a duet since they were the tender age of 16. They were 25 that year.

DdotCdot placed the star on top of the tree, and was informed immediately by almost all present that the top needed to be pruned back a bit. I reached into the old vanity drawer and retrieved my small pruners; it took him three tries. "Better to take it a little at a time", he said, "because it's really tough to add it back on."

We added tinsel amidst whining... (it had become a bit of a task to others by now) but I insisted on NO clumping!  And that was the next discussion... about the etiquette involved with 'blobbing' on tinsel...to blob or not to blob? We reached an impasse. I refused to concede; my views stood, albeit disputed by my children.  :-)

And then the  candy canes, and we could not believe that Tim had never tasted buttered popcorn flavored jelly bellies????  So he was gifted a buttered popcorn flavored candy cane.  

I always try to do my part to quell ignorance in this world!

The decorating was done, the stories once again told. All that was left to do was take pictures...because that tree was THE most beautiful tree ever... ever... really...  Or until I decorate another one. :-)    From our family to yours, merry Christmas, everyone. :-)

Please enjoy the holiday themed posts of other participants of the Meet the Family Holiday Hop

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: December 2, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday is a bloghop--and one of the friendliest. Participants post six sentences of their writing, then the fun begins. Readers hop from blog to blog, sharing opinions, critiques and encouragement.  We know what a solitary pursuit writing can be--and Six Sentence Sunday is a great way to meet other writers, and take a break from our solitude. Complete rules and a sign up form are at the site here.

Returning to my WIP, ATNS.  A snippet from a dream sequence. Cuylrh has taken Marissa to a place he's never shared with a woman.  A hilltop on a world near the outer rim of the night sky. She fell asleep beside him after they watched the sunset. And now he can't sleep. His conscience is tearing him apart. He has sinned in the eyes of his Giver, broken a rule of his faith, and possibly committed treason by taking the Earth woman. He has to make a decision, and he and Marissa could pay dearly if he follows his heart.

“Roadmaps. That’s what shone above Cuylrh. But they were more than that. A connection to the Giver, a constant reminder that there's more to this existence than one lifetime.   
Somewhere, out among the  vastness of that road-map of stars, likely beyond any familiar part of it, Rissa’s world must be turning.  Fate had brought her to him. And in his heart of hearts, he knew there was no sin in what he’d done.  It would have been a sin if he’d left her behind.  He sighed. Others would see it differently." 

Let me have it. :-) Comments, suggestions, criticisms? All much appreciated. 
Please visit the other Sunday sixers here:  sixsunday.com

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Children Have Taught Me About Gratitude

A couple of years ago, when my granddaughter was 3 years old, she sort of knocked me off kilter by what she said.  It was a Friday afternoon. Not just any Friday, but Nattie Friday--that magical day that arrives every other week, and we get to spend it with her. We were on our way home from a playground. This was after our typical round of coloring, eating "forbidden" chocolate, baking cupcakes, and whatever else we could do that was fun. That was an important rule. It had to be fun.  With little hands gripping her lovey, she stopped sucking her thumb and her tiny voice came from the  backseat, "Grammie, I had fun today."  I smiled so hard my eyes squinted nearly shut. I could barely see to drive.

She had not even uttered the word, "thanks".  Nope. Nothing even close to it, but her gratitude came through loud and clear.  She had spoken straight from her heart.

There were a couple of lessons in that.

I didn't take her to the park and do all those other things--just to hear a thank you. But I did do them for all the right reasons.

Do for the good in the doing--not for the reward.

And, learn to hear gratitude, rather than listening for "thanks".

Nearly two decades before that, my brother was visiting from California along with his wife and three young sons.

We all squeezed around the dinner table one evening,  (11 of us) and my husband called out their middle child to say grace. I think he was probably all of 4 years old at the time, and I suspect he might  never have done this before.  No pressure. :-)

He started out by thanking God for the food.  This went on for a bit, as he mentioned each food served.  And then he thanked God for the table.  And then he was thankful for  his plate, and then the fork, and the  knife, and the spoon.  His voice got a little sing-songy as he lifted his eyes searching for inspiration. I think he even thanked God for my mom's little dog.

His parents then removed him from further grace detail.

The lesson I learned from that? So obvious. Be grateful for the little things...they can make all the difference.  Imagine dinner with no fork, no plate, no spoon, no table... no food...

Sometimes kids have it all figured out. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it! <3

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: November 18, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday is a bloghop--and one of the friendliest. Participants post six sentences of their writing, then the fun begins. Readers hop from blog to blog, sharing opinions, critiques and encouragement.  We know what a solitary pursuit writing can be--and Six Sentence Sunday is a great way to meet other writers, and take a break from our solitude. Complete rules and a sign up form are at the site here.

Returning to my WIP, ATNS.  A snippet from a dream sequence. Dhurstan Of Rialt, friend of Cuylrh since childhood, is half drunk and on a tirade about the woman (main character, Marissa) from a world called Earth, who is bringing his best friend to his knees.  This scene happens shortly after Marissa rejected Cuylrh's overtures. This is in Cuylrh's POV.

“You should dump her off at the next station, or better yet, just leave her here when we go.  What good is she?"  He pointed the direction of the lake, his body swaying and spit flying from his mouth as he raged. "She doesn’t cook, she won't wash our clothes, and the worst thing of all is that her body isn’t doing anything to satisfy even a one of us. Giver above! She should at least be trying to satisfy us...all of us; she’s no different than any other woman we’ve shared on this journey!”

Ain't this guy a peach?  There might be more to Dhurstan's motivation than the best interest of his friend.

Let me have it. :-) Comments, suggestions, criticisms? All much appreciated. 

Please visit the other Sunday sixers here:  sixsunday.com

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dreams of Leonids

I saw Leonids fall,                                               
across the sky
above my dream,
last night in velvet darkness.
Viewed from an unknown place,
surrounded in peace,
Halcyon days meandered--
like two weeks of calm,
framed in blessed silence.
My heart raced; words would not come.
Only tears.
Stars cascaded from hope,
kindness and love,
while the kingfisher's nest floated...
And when I woke
the sand beckoned,
with a place to bury my eyes...

Copyright 2012 Teresa Cypher

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: November 11, 2012


Six Sentence Sunday is a bloghop--and one of the friendliest. Participants post six sentences of their writing, then the fun begins. Readers hop from blog to blog, sharing opinions, critiques and encouragement.  We know what a solitary pursuit writing can be--and Six Sentence Sunday is a great way to meet other writers, and take a break from our solitude. Complete rules and a sign up form are at the site here.

Returning to my WIP, ATNS.  A snippet from a dream sequence. Cuylrh, the man who has taken Marissa under his wing, his original intent to teach her the language and what she'll need to know to survive in the Rialtan Empire, is struggling to remain emotionally detached. 
"He surveyed her from head to toe, her clean hair braided in a manner showing deference to the Giver above, and her body tucked into a baggy, white shirt and tight, black pants meant to help her blend in with his group. Who was he kidding?  As if she could blend in.  She was...anything but Rialtan.   It didn’t matter what she wore; she stood out like an exquisite flower in a field of dry grass." 

 All comments, opinions, criticisms, greatly appreciated and graciously acknowledged.  Thanks for visiting, and have a wonderful week, all. :-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Author Interview: Steven B. Weissman

Today, the very funny and talented Steven B. Weissman is visiting to chat about his recently published romantic historical fiction, Bountiful Creek. 
TC:  Hi Steven.  Thanks for sparing some of your time today.  First, let me get this out there.  I read Bountiful Creek and absolutely loved it. 
SW: Thank you, Teresa. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
A little about the book:
“In the spring of 1861, just prior to the onset of the Civil War, Martha Somerville finds her life rapidly changing along with the world around her. Determined to find a way to build a life with her love, Wilby, Martha focuses her energies on acquiring enough money to buy a plot of land to turn into a small farm. Her obsession takes her far from quiet Bountiful Creek, Virginia, deep into Union territory in Ohio. When war breaks out, she immediately sets her course for home before Wilby leaves to join the Confederate Army; but a wealthy suitor, a gravely ill companion, and a thief challenge her efforts to reach him in time. Yet even if she can successfully overcome her obstacles, her life dangerously parallels an ill-fated legend that threatens to keep her and the man she loves apart forever.”
TC: Such a beautiful and moving story about a young woman’s struggles around the time of the American Civil War! Where did the inspiration for Bountiful Creek come from?
SW: I had acquired a bundle of original, handwritten 19th century letters, to experience the period firsthand instead of only from what I’d seen in movies or read in novels. In the stack, I discovered two very poignant letters from a young western Virginia woman, Martha Somerville, about the hardships as well as joys of Civil War era life. That was my inspiration.
TC: It’s incredible that you wrote such a book after reading two letters.  Inspiration is a mysterious thing.  How long did it take you to write it?  And, it is obvious that you’ve meticulously researched the era.  What percentage of your writing time (just ballpark) did you spend on research?
SW: It took me four years to write Bountiful Creek. I did research all along the way, as needed. But I spent three months on heavy research before I ever wrote a word, totaling fifteen books, on everything from Appalachian culture and speech, to typical life in southern slave states, to life among the very wealthy in high society. I wanted to equip myself with as much knowledge as possible about the time, places, and varied cultures, to firmly set the stage, so to speak, before I ever dropped the characters onto it.
TC: Your dedication to research and accuracy shows in the pages of your book.  The vocabulary was amazing!  Can you share any of the process you used to develop such incredible prose?
SW: I love the beautiful prose of wonderfully talented authors such as Jane Austen, Henry James, Charles Dickens and the like. Once I’d set my mind to a similar style and rhythm, it became quite natural to write that way. I also found it helpful to read from those authors while writing, just to keep me in the zone.
TC:  Seems to have been a very effective approach.  I’ve read how some authors get themselves in the mood for writing.  Do you have any particular thing you do before immersing yourself in a writing session?
SW: I like to have a snack handy, and sometimes a glass of wine. I have no particular thing that I do to get in the mood, but I do need total silence when writing. I’ve tried writing outdoors, but all those wonderful sounds from birds, insects, even the plop of a frog jumping into the lagoon distract me. Oddly, when working on a rewrite or editing, I find it helpful to have background noise, like music or the TV. It keeps me from getting into my head too much, so I can just focus on what’s written.
TC:  Looking back over your experience writing Bountiful Creek, from idea inception, to published book, what’s been your greatest frustration?
SW: My greatest frustration was finding typos in what I thought was a “finished” manuscript—a missing question mark, a wrong word, etc. I must have read it front to back at least forty times before I caught, I hope, the last error.
TC:  Spoken like a true editor! Now, let’s take that last question and change it to what has been your greatest triumph?
SW: Finishing writing it! Seriously, at times it seemed like it would never end. I guess I could have used the same answer for my greatest frustration, but I’ll stick with it as my triumph.
TC: You have me smiling now—and likely any writer reading this is smiling as well.  “Finishing writing it!”  Triumph, indeed.   After chatting with you and discovering what a fun guy you are, I admit amazement at the distance, personality wise, between you and your characters.  How did you do that so effectively?
SW: I guess it has something to do with living vicariously. Whether my characters are endearing, or just plain scoundrels (they’re the most interesting, but so unlike me), it’s fun to totally immerse myself in each of them and act out things I never would or could do in real life.
TC:  One of the glories of being a writer is getting to live so many lives within one lifetime.  Scoundrels are fun to write, and you’ve written a nasty one for Bountiful Creek.  I’m tiptoeing now; I don’t want to give away any spoilers.  When you wrote the scoundrel, was it all planned, or was it seat-of-your-pants writing?
SW: Not much was planned. I pretty much forged through the story, oftentimes having little more information than the characters themselves. As for the villain, well, every good story needs one. But I had no idea how it would manifest itself until I got to that part in the story, and then I just had fun with it.
TC: Forging through was a good ‘non-plan’.  I found it fascinating that you, a man, wrote a female protagonist so amazingly well.  What brought you to the decision to write the story in Martha’s voice?
SW: Since the letters I used as the inspiration to write Bountiful Creek were written by a real woman, it seemed only natural for the story to be told in her voice. The challenge was to mentally put myself into the role of a woman and look at things from a woman’s point of view, especially given the period in which the story takes place. Sometimes I’d be inside a woman’s head for so long that when a writing session was over, I’d need to do something manly like watch a ball game, scratch myself, and belch (lol).
TC: Whew, glad that you figured out appropriate measures to get back into a man’s head (lol)!    Your characters are drawn so richly.  Were there any experiences in your life that influenced your writing or decision to become a writer?
SW: I guess I started gathering the raw materials necessary for being a writer as a young man. I dropped out of college, traded in musty books for a Harley Davidson, and well-trodden university halls for roads less traveled, and experienced life from all corners.
TC: Something almost magical comes through the words of a writer who has experienced life in a larger sense. Such is the case with your writing.  Are you working on anything new?
SW: Yes. Speaking of magical, I’m working on a fun time travel/fantasy story, but with a twist from the usual.
TC: Oh, I can’t wait! OK, let’s shake things up a little. I always like to ask a few off-the-wall questions—to get a little glimpse of the person behind the writer.   Here goes…
If you had a time machine—where (when in time) would you go? Why?
SW:  I’d want to go back to important historical times to see what REALLY happened—so many to choose from. But, if I can only pick one place in time (other than the age of dinosaurs—wouldn’t that be cool!), I’d like to be in Ford’s Theater in Washington DC when Abraham Lincoln was shot. I just can’t even imagine the excitement and drama on that fateful night!
TC:   Excitement and drama indeed.   OK, now share something fun and crazy that you’ve done.
SW:  I used to jump fences with my horse, in a western saddle, like John Wayne in True Grit.  
Oh, there’s lots of things you can do with horses. One winter, with the ground covered in ice, I skied down the road by grabbing the end my horse’s tail while he ran ahead of me.  That worked pretty well…until he bucked and double-barreled me right in the chest.
TC: Your last answer is a perfect lead into my next question.   If there were a book about your life, what genre would it be?
SW: Is “How Not To” books a genre? I’m full of those things.
TC:  It sounds like you are, but obviously not when it comes to your writing!  One more question, then I’ll let you get back to work on your next novel.  You have to act in a Broadway show. Which character will you play?
SW: I think I’d like to play Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man. I get to sing, dance, mesmerize an entire town, and get the girl at the end. Of course, I’d have to learn to sing and dance first…
TC: I hear there are lessons to be had. ;-)  And what a great choice for a writer, “Professor Harold Hill”—quite the entertainer…
I want to thank you again, Steven, for sharing your time, experience, and knowledge with my readers and me.
SW: It was my pleasure, Teresa. Thank you so much for inviting me.
TC: I encourage you to check out Steven’s book.

It’s here on Amazon: BOUNTIFULCREEK
And you can find Steven on facebook, here: Steven B. Weissman,Author

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: October 28th, 2012

For anyone who doesn't know, Six Sentence Sunday is a bloghop--and one of the friendliest. Participants post six sentences of their writing, then the fun begins. Readers hop from blog to blog, sharing opinions, critiques and encouragement.  We know what a solitary pursuit writing is--and Six Sentence Sunday is a great way to meet other writers, and take a break from our solitude. Complete rules and a sign up form are at the site here.
Returning to ATNS this week.   
Marissa has spent a few nights at a homeless shelter. Her clothing--from donations made to a local church, is new to her. She's clean, her hair is combed, and she isn't carrying her ratty backpack. She's just recognized that people are acknowledging her as she walks, that she is no longer part of the invisible and unwanted homeless.

"Ready to cross the street, rage  blinding her, she stepped off the curb to the sound of tires screeching. Looking through the windshield of the abruptly stopped car, she was met with a face full of annoyance.  But as the driver held her eyes, he motioned with his hand for her to cross and then he smiled.

She started walking, but then stopped, brought her fist down on the hood of his car and shouted, “I was a human yesterday too!

The tires squealed in reverse, the driver backing up just enough to swerve around her. “Crazy bitch!”

All comments, opinions, criticisms, greatly appreciated and graciously acknowledged.  Thanks for visiting, and have a wonderful week, all. :-)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Book Review: Heart Search: Lost by Carlie Cullen

First, the official, background information :-)

The Blurb
“One bite starts it all . . .
When Joshua Grant vanishes days before his wedding his fiancée Remy is left with only bruises, scratch marks and a hastily written note. Heartbroken, she sets off alone to find him and begins a long journey where strange things begin to happen.
As Joshua descends into his new immortal life he indulges his thirst for blood and explores his superhuman strength and amazing new talents while becoming embroiled in coven politics which threaten to destroy him. But Remy discovers a strength of her own on her quest to bring Joshua home.
Fate toys with mortals and immortals alike, as two hearts torn apart by darkness face ordeals which test them to their limits.”

My Review:

I'm not often a reader of Vampire Tales, but this one sucked me in.  The story was good, the characters engaging, and the plot was full of twists and turns that kept me turning the pages.

Excellent job by Carlie of fleshing out the characters.

Remy's character was never pathetic--although her situation entitled her to it. I admired her tenacity as her search dragged on.

Josh--and the coven he lives with? So well-written.  They were the real entertainment in this book. The dynamics of the vampires were quite fascinating.  And I loved how Carlie wrote their predatory nature.  Simply indifferent to what they must do to humans to survive, yet their emotional responses to each other are very strong.

A lot of well placed foreshadowing lent an air of impending conflict, pain, or change.

And (spoiler alert) the end is a zinger!  But, it's set up nicely for the sequel.

Hope you're working on that, Carlie! :-)

Carlie M A Cullen
Carlie M A Cullen was born in London. She grew up in Hertfordshire where she first discovered her love of books and writing. She has been an administrator and marketer all her working life and is also a professional teacher of Ballroom and Latin American dancing.
Carlie has always written in some form or another, but Heart Search: Lost is her first novel. This is being launched 8th October 2012 through Myrddin Publishing Group and work has started on book two: Heart Search: Found. She writes mainly in the Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genres for YA, New Adult and Adult.
Carlie is also a professional editor.
Carlie also holds the reins of a writing group called Writebulb. Their first anthology was published September 2012.
Carlie currently lives in Essex, UK with her daughter.

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