Sunday, November 12, 2017

Ashes to Asheville -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes 
into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day 
give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.” 
~ Brenda Ueland ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
MentalFloss has a post HERE that will give you 38 Word Usage Mistakes Even Smart People Make. There were a couple on the list I know I’ve used incorrectly a time or two. 

Choosing the correct point of view is pretty critical to the success of your story. HERE K. M. Weiland gives you some great hints to find the right point of view. 

Writers in the Storm has a good post HERE to help you manage your chapters. 

I took my exchange student, Amandine, to Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park this weekend. It has been years since I have visited these wonderful places, and it was a treat to see them through the eyes of someone who had never been there before. As we were driving out of Sequoia, a California Black Bear ran alongside our car for several hundred feet. It was a real thrill to see him up close. In Yosemite, we saw several mule deer and lots of small animals. Amandine was obsessed with Yosemite and declared it was just not fair that there is nothing like it in Belgium. We sure are lucky to live in such a wonderful place.

Last week I offered a gently-read ARC of Jabber-Walking by Juan Filipe Herrera to one of my readers. The winner this week is our temporary host of MMGM, Greg Pattridge. Congratulations, Greg! To keep up on MMGM and to read wonderful book reviews, hop on over to Greg's fabulous blog, Always in the Middle. Don't miss an episode. It's so good. HERE is the link. Greg, I will get your book out to you this week. For the rest of you, please keep reading for another terrific giveaway.

I read about a book a couple months ago called Ashes to Asheville by Sarah Dooley that sounded really good, so I requested a copy from the Seattle Book Review and was not disappointed. Here is the review I wrote for them. 

Fella lost so much when Mama Lacy died. It was bad enough to lose her mother, but to be separated from her sister, Zany, and her other mother, Mama Shannon, as well was so hard. But living with her grandmother had its upside. She had a nice room and wanted for nothing — except the rest of her family. When Zany shows up one night insisting Mama Lacy’s wishes must be respected and her ashes spread in Asheville, the two girls find themselves on an amazing journey. These two girls, four years apart in age, agree on very little as they work their way toward Asheville. They have little money, the urn of ashes is stolen along with Zany’s purse, they have grandmother’s dog along, and they have no map. It’s complicated.

Author Sarah Dooley has written a heart-rending story of the time before there
Sarah Dooley
were protections for same-sex couples and their families and how the lack of those protections could rip families apart and steal so much from those left behind. The characters are compelling and, for the most part, believable and the writing strong. The story is an important reminder of why the new laws are so important.

I have a gently-read hardback for of this for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.

Don't forget to check out Greg Pattridge's blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways. He has graciously agreed to take over temporarily for Shannon Messenger while she is running around promoting her latest book. Thanks, Greg, and good luck, Shannon!