wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Characters We Love

Lori Virelli’s new novel, Through His Disciples’ Eyes, is based on a mission that Joshua Cane undertook. He had “the gift of the gab,” and traveled about the country talking to people and helping them any way he could. Joshua never presented himself as a modern-day Jesus, but he happened to embody many of his good qualities. The followers of Joshua Cane were skeptical of him at first, but they soon came to adore him and to cling to his word. He did not seek fame; instead, it found him, most likely because his message “to forgive yourself” appealed to so many who heard him speak.

When we read a good book, its characters, with their aspirations, successes, dilemmas, and failures, continue to live in our head, sometimes long after we finish reading the book. The author’s challenge is to make us care about the characters.  Otherwise, why should we bother to continue reading?

In Lori Virelli’s novel, Through His Disciples’ Eyes,  I met several characters from various backgrounds, and soon worried about their problems and the potential dangers that might befall them.

The author does an excellent job of presenting her characters as having feelings, emotions, needs, and desires, just as we do. They are not perfect, but most people aren’t. Their imperfections make us empathize with them even more.

Julia is a young girl whose luck is spiraling downward. Luckily, she stumbles across Joshua and his group. Here, the story begins, and we learn to love Julia in spite of her troubled childhood and her many anxieties. Throughout the novel we watch her character grow into something admirable, but not without problems along the way.

Each of the characters (and they are a real variety pack) evolves along the story arc.

Tobias has some bad history, but he feels remorse, and worries about how he will be able to redeem himself.

Max has issues that many of us could identify with. We hope he can work through them.

The author cleverly weaves the actions and personalities of the characters together into a story that spans decades.

I enjoyed being a part of that ride, and I’m sure you will love this book and come away from it feeling good.

 

Here is the blurb about the book.

In the year 2029, the world is broken, and so is Max Greenwood. In his attempt to find inner peace, he learns of a long-lost prophet—Joshua Cane—who lived in the 1950s. His life appears to mirror that of Jesus, complete with healing miracles, disciples, and being murdered in his thirties.

Researching for more, Max uncovers information on two of the disciples. Tobias Jones is a tempestuous man who separates from Cane’s other followers to spread the prophet’s teachings on his own. His ideas to control the righteous message lead to trouble.

Julia Flores is a teen whose mother kicked her out. Homeless and feeling unloved, she finds purpose in following Joshua Cane on his Mission to spread peace. As she travels with him, emotional issues from her past emerge, causing drama along the way.

The stories of these troubled souls searching for meaning trigger life-altering revelations for Max Greenwood—revelations not only about Joshua and his disciples, but about himself and all of us.

L. Virelli interweaves concepts from self-help, spirituality, the Bible, and New Thought into an allegorical tale.

To find out more about the launch of this book, click this link:

https://loreezlane.wordpress.com/2022/12/06/its-heeerre/

Through His Disciples’ Eyes is available at amazon in both paperback and e-book.

Just click the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BNY1VCZF

*Please feel free to help Lori out by re-blogging this post or doing one of your own. I know it will be appreciated.


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Jacqui Murray – Natural Selection

Jacqui Murray  has done it again. She has provided us with more wonderful entertainment with the release of Natural Selection, book three of her Dawn of Humanity trilogy. I’m so pleased to host her on my blog today. For a review of this latest page-turner, please also visit my other blog, https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2022/11/06/natural-selection-my-review/

 Natural Selection

 

Summary

 

In this conclusion to Lucy’s journey, she and her tribe leave their good home to rescue former tribe members captured by the enemy. Lucy’s tribe includes a mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium, and different iterations of early man. In this book, more join and some die, but that is the nature of prehistoric life, where survival depends on a combination of our developing intellect and our inexhaustible will to live. Each species brings unique skills to this task. Based on true events.

 

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but you couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

 

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!Book information:

 

Title and author: Natural Selection by Jacqui Murray

Series: Book 3 in the Dawn of Humanity series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Editor: Anneli Purchase

Available print or digital) at: http://a-fwd.com/asin=B0B9KPM5BW

 

How did early man run down prey?

Early Man Hunted by Running Down Prey

In my latest trilogy, Dawn of Humanity, I present the almost unbelievable idea that early man–in this case, not Lucy’s kind but the next version of man, Homo erectus–hunted by chasing herds until the animals were too tired to continue. Readers who have never heard about what is called the “Endurance Running Hypothesis” or “persistence hunting” reject that idea, but many scientists don’t (to be fair, some do). Here’s why.

African land animals run fast, some at speeds of 45-60 mph. Most of us assume our ancestors hunted by surprising animals as they grazed, killing only the old or injured while the rest fled. That is true, but they also chased the herd and were likely to catch them.

How was that possible? Read on.

Because earliest man had few offensive traits like fangs or claws, evolution selected those who could run fast enough to escape predators and run down prey for food. That included physical characteristics like long legs, a prominent butt (for balance), loose hips, shock-absorbing joints, a stable head, shorter toes, a springy foot formation, considerably less body hair, skin loaded with cooling sweat glands, and a larger lung size. By the time Homo erectus arrived in man’s lineage (Xha and Wild in the story, Natural Selection), man could run all day while animals had to stop periodically to rest. Animal bodies were powerful, but covered in fur and their only way to cool off was to stop and pant. Herd animals would think they had escaped, because they could no longer see the tall skinny creatures who carried a tree limb wherever they went, but they hadn’t. Man ran slower, but because of his adaptive qualities, he ran endlessly. He caught up with the animals when they stopped to catch their breath. The animals would again take off, but each time they sprinted from their human predators, they had to stop sooner until they couldn’t run anymore and were speared by the chasers who never seemed to require rest.

This continues today as the preferred hunting technique of African wild dogs, domestic hounds, and the human hunter-gatherers still living in the central Kalahari Desert.

Want more? Check out this three-minute video on Endurance Running:

 

 

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman , the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction writing includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, and reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice. She is a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Social Media contacts:

 

Amazon Author Page:        https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                       https://worddreams.wordpress.com

Instagram:                             https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

Pinterest:                                http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                   http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                 https://jacquimurray.net

 

My review of Natural Selection can be found at https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2022/11/06/natural-selection-my-review/


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Dialect in Writing

 

Dialect 

If one or more of your characters have a dialect or accent that you feel is important to note in your novel, I would suggest that unless you are very familiar with those regional speech patterns or accents, use them sparsely so they don’t distract from the story. The safer way to do it would be to choose a few instances of the dialect and use them in dialogue. Try as much as possible to have the rest of the writing in plain English.

Falling out of character by messing up the dialect is going to do damage to your credibility as a writer and to the credibility of the character.

I’d like to give you some examples of how I have used dialect and accent of a character in my novels.

One of my secondary characters in The Wind Weeps is Monique, a French-Canadian girl. I wanted to show that she spoke with a French-Canadian accent, but I didn’t want the phonetic spelling of every word of her speech become a chore for the reader. My solution was to limit Monique’s dialect and accent to a few of the most obvious speech habits that were typical of French speakers of English.

Saying the soft sound of “th” (as in “they”) is often difficult for speakers of French origin,  so, for example, instead of saying “there,” Monique would say “dere.”  For the hard sound of “th,” she might say “somet’ing” instead of “something.”

In French the sound of “h” is not used, so in English, Monique would have a habit of dropping the sound of the letter “h.” I showed this by placing an apostrophe in its place.  If she were saying, “It’s time to have something to eat,” she would say, “It is time to ’ave somet’ing to eat.”

That reminds me of the last clue to Monique’s speech being different; she would not use contractions. Instead of “can’t,” she would say “cannot,”  or she would say “it is” instead of “it’s, and “I ’ave” instead of “I’ve.”

By using these three changes in the dialogue, the reader could instantly identify that it was Monique who was speaking.  Just to be sure, I gave Monique two more habits of her own. I added the odd case of her swearing by having her say, “Tabernac,” once in a while. I also had her use an expression that was all her own by having her conflate two common phrases she had heard used in English. When she wanted to say “For sure” or “Sure thing,” as she had heard others say, she ended up saying, “For sure t’ing.”  Whenever this came up in the book, we would always know it was Monique speaking.

If you’d like to check it out yourself, you can find The Wind Weeps and its sequel, Reckoning Tide, at all amazon   (click on amazon) outlets and at smashwords.com (Click on smashwords.com).

My books are all marked down to 99 cents US so you can load your e-reader with bargain reading.

You can find a review of The Wind Weeps, by clicking on this blog post by Diana Wallace Peach.

P.S. For those who follow both my blogs, I have copied this post for both this one time. I don’t intend to make that a habit.

 

 


190 Comments

The Necromancer’s Daughter

Diana Wallace Peach has done it again. She has written a novel that you won’t be able to put down.

All the emotions of human nature play their part in this exciting novel. Love, adventure, and intrigue, with just enough of a touch of magic to be believable, all feature in this page turner.

 

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant, and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, he breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she learns to heal death.

Then the day arrives when the widowed king, his own life nearing its end, defies the Red Order’s warning. He summons the necromancer’s daughter, his only heir, and for his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade.

While Barus hides from the Order’s soldiers, Aster leads their masters beyond the wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a land of dragons and barbarian tribes. She seeks her mother’s people, the powerful rulers of Blackrock, uncertain whether she will find sanctuary or face a gallows’ noose.

Unprepared for a world rife with danger, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

A healer with the talent to unravel death, a child reborn, a father lusting for vengeance, and a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.

 

Please see my review of Diana Wallace Peach’s amazing new novel on my other blog: https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/

 

The Necromancer’s Daughter Links:

Amazon Global Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin=B0B92G7QZX

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-necromancers-daughter-d-wallce-peach/1142003172

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-necromancer-s-daughter-1

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-necromancers-daughter/id6443278849

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1160370

About the Author

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

 

More about Diana Wallace Peach:

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

 

***** Don’t forget the review of Diana Wallace Peach’s amazing new novel on my other blog: https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/

 


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Words like Gold Nuggets

I was reading “Fortune’s Rocks” by Anita Shreve and had a mixture of reactions throughout the experience.

First, I was dismayed at the use of such stuffy language, but I soon realized that it suited the 1899 New England setting perfectly. This was the way people in the wealthier class spoke and thought in those days.

In a short time I stopped noticing the stuffiness of the language, and felt immersed in that time and lifestyle.

So it was, that I scoffed only mildly when the mother who was hosting guests at her summer home did not want her photo taken. One of the guests had taken up photography and the hostess was not a fan of these new contraptions called cameras. The reaction of the hostess was not out of character, but had me chuckling about her overly sensitive personality.

When I read on, I was absolutely thrilled with Anita Shreve’s description of the photography session that followed.

This quote from the book tells how it played out as the other guests, one by one, sat to have their photos taken.

Even Olympia’s mother, in the end, relents and allows herself to be photographed, albeit behind a veil with eyes lowered, flinching each time she hears the shutter click, as though she might be shot.

This description had me laughing out loud, as I imagined the scene. It was then that I realized that much of the writing was so precisely worded that I was able to picture it clearly in my mind. Reading this book became like watching a movie.

I kept chuckling over the above quote for some time and finally decided I would write a short note to the author to tell her how much I was enjoying her book. I Googled her name to get a webpage contact, but immediately the search told me that Anita Shreve had died on March 29, 2018 at the young age of 71.  My happy mood was dashed and I felt shocked and saddened to find out this bad news.

Still, Anita has left a legacy of many fine books for us to enjoy.

Now I am wondering if you readers out there have had similar discoveries of passages that are nuggets of entertainment.

If you have, why not share them in your comments. Book title, author, and quote. We’d love to see what you’ve found.

I’m posting this on my anneli’s place blog as well, so you can comment on either one (or both).


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Flower Power

I was happy that my orchid was blooming bravely through the winter, but the room cheered up considerably when our dinner guests brought a pot of primulas. Such bright colours made it hard to be anything but happy.

 

The winter colours all around,

Seem mute, and stay benign,

But springlike colours popping up,

Are bright and so divine.

 

Absorbing rays that warm and heal,

The blossoms open wide,

Displaying cheer, inviting joy,

I know they’re on my side.

***** If you like writing, why not pop over to my other blog that is dedicated to books and writing, at https:///annelisplace.wordpress.com.

 


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Der Struwwelpeter

In a recent post on Peter Klopp’s blog, I was reminded of the book I’ve treasured since I was a small child.  I still have that book which my family brought to Canada from Germany in 1953, and about 50 years ago I managed to buy a newer copy of it in Vancouver. The old one is on the right, and the new one on the left.

They are almost identical, but in the new one, these first two pages (below) do not appear.

The poem on the left is about the expectations of how children should behave:

Eat your soup.

Don’t forget to eat the bread too.

Play with your toys without making too much noise.

Take Mama’s hand when you’re out with her for a walk.

And if you do all these things, the Christkind (the being who delivers gifts at Christmas) will bring you some nice presents, and a very pretty picture book.

My mother often read this to me when I was very little, and encouraged me to say the words with her. The last line was always, “But we don’t tear it.”

It was years before I realized that the last line was not part of the poem. She had just added it as if it belonged there, and I repeated it, thinking it did.

 

On the second page was a picture of a child (Peter) whose hair was all “struwwelig” – officially “strubbelig” I think (messy, to say the least), and his fingernails were dirty and long. This boy never allowed his Mama to comb his hair or cut his nails, and he was a horrible boy (not what any good child would want to be). He was called Struwwelpeter (messy or slovenly Peter).

 

NOW things get more controversial. The stories (in rhyme) which follow are now considered harsh and brutal and not fit for children to be exposed to, and there are many adults who believe they should be banned.

But in spite of the shocking way the lessons in childhood behaviour are presented, I want to say that although the stories had my full attention at a young age, they did not give me nightmares or upset me. I grew up in a loving home and when my mother read these stories to me, she assured me that I was safe with her and that the awful things in the stories only happened to very bad people.

Meanwhile, I loved the cadence of the words and the rhymes and the often justified (at some level) endings.

 

Here is the story of Friederich, who was a very cruel boy. He tore the wings off flies and was mean to animals and to his sister. A dog getting a drink from the fountain looked like an easy target. Friederich sneaked up on him and hit him with his whip. The dog cried and howled, but then he’d had enough. He bit Friederich’s leg and ran off with his whip.

 

Now comes the part that I liked. Friederich had to go to bed. The doctor was called and Friederich had to take some medicine that was very bitter. (YES!)

Meanwhile, the dog ate Friederich’s supper of liver sausage, and he even had a drink of wine (not so sure if that was good for either dog or boy). He had brought the whip with him and kept a close eye on it.

 

This next story about little Pauline was very, very sad. It brought out every bit of empathy I had in my small child’s body. Thinking back, I remember this story so well because the poor little girl ended up burning up.

Much later, as an adult I thought, “If only a certain little boy I knew (in real life), had been told this story, maybe he would not have done exactly what Pauline did.” Luckily, he only burned down the family home and not himself or his family.

The beautiful thing about this story/poem is the rhyme. The repeated refrain that tells the warning from the cats, Minz and Maunz, really hits home. 70 years later, I still know who Minz and Maunz are.

Pauline had been told not to play with matches but the temptation was so great, she had to do it anyway. The cats warned her again and again, but she wouldn’t listen to them. At the end of the story, you can see how upset the cats are. If only Pauline had listened to her parents. I was impressed as a child, that all that was left of Pauline was a pair of red shoes.

Kaspar is one guy I didn’t feel sorry for. All he had to do was eat his soup. But no! He had tantrums (another no-no) and refused to eat his soup every day even though he got thinner and thinner.

I see that his Mama must have missed him and loved him a lot because even beyond the grave she was still trying to get him to eat his soup. See the bowl on his grave?

This one about Philipp who misbehaved at the table left me cold. I didn’t feel sorry for Philipp. He got what he deserved. But Philipp’s Mama, in every verse, did the same stupid thing. She put her handheld spectacles to her eye and looked around the table wordlessly. The Papa, on the other hand, did a lot of admonishing,  but he also got no respect from me. He let his son ignore him. And see in the picture – look how he is holding the knife!

Well, Mama and Papa may have been ineffectual parents, but natural consequences taught them all a lesson and none of them got any supper that night.

I have to add one little anecdote. Whenever my mother made Jell-o at home, she called it Zappel-Philipp. For years I thought that’s what it was really called, but she only called it that because Philipp from the story “zappelled” (fidgeted and rocked around)  just like the Jell-o did.  Unless Jell-o is really called that and I don’t know it.

The last story is one that upsets a lot of people because the tailor comes with his huge shears and cuts off Conrad’s thumbs.

But hey! His Mama told him not to suck them. She told him what would happen if he did.

Okay, I’m just kidding. It is a bit brutal, but again, I did not have nightmares or even take the story seriously. You’d have to be pretty stupid to believe that this would really happen. Unfortunately there are many people who would ban the whole book for being too real and brutal and upsetting for children.

The truth is, I loved these stories. I loved the rhyme and the cadence and the funny pictures. This story has stayed in my head all the years of my life since pre-school, and I still love how it starts with,

“Conrad, sprach die Frau Mama,

Ich geh aus und du bleibst da.”

(Conrad, said his Mama,

I’m going out and you’re staying here.)

It’s such a catchy little rhyme. And then after she tells him to be good and not suck his thumbs or the tailor will come with the big shears and cut them off, he can hardly wait until the door closes. I love the word that tells how he puts his thumb in his mouth – WUPP!

And then the sound of the tailor coming in the door. BAUZ! (pronounced like BOWTS).

 

 

There are more stories in the Struwwelpeter book, but this post is already quite long so I’ll leave you with a couple of thoughts.

Before you say how horrible these stories are, consider that it makes a difference how they are presented. I agree that I would not raise children using these stories as examples nowadays.

But I also feel that we don’t need a witch hunt to eradicate every book we don’t agree with, and those who consider themselves holier-than-the-rest-of-us don’t have a right to deprive everyone of the opportunity to see what went on in our history. It is not their right to erase our past – good or bad. We can learn from it either way.

 

 


47 Comments

Rufus

 

 

 

Still, still, still I sit,

Feathers fluffed and light,

Chill, chill, chill is it,

Going to freeze tonight.

 

Save, save, save my strength,

Lest my legs do fold,

Brave, brave, brave at length,

Need to be so bold.

 

Eat, eat, eat the seeds,

For the night is long,

Meet, meet, meet my needs,

Hope I can be strong.

 

Spring, spring, spring will come,

Bringing sun and life,

Sing, sing, sing and hum,

Ending winter’s strife.