Showing posts from 2019

Papa's Shoes

What a pleasure it was to read my dear writing buddy, Madeline Sharples' new book, Papa's Shoes. I love novels that are historic, that tell realistic stories, that include dialogue that really makes the characters come alive and that leave you feeling like you just had a long visit with an old friend. Madeline does all of this in Papa's Shoes

Without giving the plot away, I can share that if you have never heard Yiddish spoken in context, this book will give you that treat. I grew up in the city surrounded by people of various cultures and backgrounds, so my vocabulary is international. What a delight to read words like tuchus, goy, and kvetch. I could hear the accent clearly in my head, which made the characters come alive.  I knew these people!

Madeline has a gift for dialogue, something many writers struggle with. However, the dialogue in this book feels real and rolls smoothly off the tongues of the characters. 

I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves a good …

Guest Post: Madeline Sharples - How I Reinvented Myself...

I am thrilled to welcome back a dear writing pal, Madeline Sharples to be a guest on my blog. Madeline has just released a wonderful work of fiction, Papa's Shoes, which I have had the honor to read.

Papa's Shoes is a wonderful story of immigration, feminism, families, and forgiveness. I have thoroughly enjoyed every page. 

I asked Madeline to share something about how she became a published author of a fictional novel. Here is her story.

How I reinvented myself  from a technical writer and editor to a creative writer –  and at my age.
I fell in love with poetry and creative writing in grade school. I studied journalism in high school and college and wrote for the high school newspaper. I graduated from UCLA with a degree in English and had no idea what I would do professionally with it. I had wanted to work as a journalist and actually completed all the course work for a degree in journalism at the University of Wisconsin. But family illness caused me to transfer to UCLA for m…

Contemplative Gardening

 - Oasis -  (c) 2019 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
The rippling melody of water trickling into the pond immediately triggers a Pavlovian response. Cares and worries seem to melt off my shoulders. The birds sing harmony to the pond's fluid notes. 

The sun is bright, but still not hot as it has just peaked the green fringe of North Sugarloaf. I kneel before the garden, like a disciple before an altar. A zephyr gently moves the hair from my eyes, as a bend to clean winter's waste from around the verdant seedlings that are now appearing.

In this Sacred Space, my mind focuses on those I have promised to pray for over the past weeks. I picture each person like the tiny shoots sprouting before me, whole and full of life. I dig my hands deep into the mulch asking for forgiveness for the times I didn't want to get my hands dirty. I stake and secure stems too weak to stand against wind and rain as I offer prayers of gratitude for that which supports me and all those I love. 

As I rise from the…

Guest Post by L. Lee Kane

Today we welcome author, Linda Lee Kane to Words from the Heart to discuss ideas for creating heroes and villains. I hope you enjoy reading her thoughts and advise.

Heroes and Villains 
Most thrillers tell the story of a hero who leaves the comfortable, known world and ventures into the dangerous unknown, often at risk to his/her life, to bring benefit to humanity. As such, thrillers hearken back to myth is that span all cultures and epochs. Look at Wikipedia’s list of Heroes and World Cultures and Heroines in Folklore and mark those that appeal to you the most. Keep a list of ideas, and heroes in a notebook to refer to later. 

When creating motivations for heroes and villains, a fundamental principle to remember is that making a decision between good and evil is never really a choice. All humans will choose well as they see it. You must tell why your villain is picking his own right (which your reader will perceive as evil). This is where your moral gray area becomes essential. 

In the B…

Book Review - Black Madonna

Historic fiction is one of my favorite reads, so I didn't hesitate to accept the offer to review Black Madonna: A Pope's Deadly Obsession by Linda Lee Kane. This story takes the reader from present time into the past of the Catholic church and back. A bit reminiscent of Dan Brown's stories, Black Madonna, uses the history of Tarot to help inform the story.

That said, I will add in capitals, TRIGGER WARNING. There are some very explicit sexual passages (rape) as well as graphic violence. For me, this took away from the story and I had to put the book down several times to get through it. 

However, the story, sans the above, was interesting and I found that I was curious to see what was truth and what was fiction. The author, cleverly, adds this information to the end of the book.  

Therefore, while I had a difficult time with the sex and violence, the book has inspired me to do more research into the Cathars and Tarot.  

Read other reviews and posts on the Women on Writing Tour…