September Again by Hunter S. Jones and …

Sept Again LgAMAZON

What I hoped for happened, and sooner than expected!

I am proud, happy, no thrilled to present to you the second book in the September Series

SEPTEMBER AGAIN

According to Cherokee beliefs, opportunity will bless you twice.

September Again, second in the series, September Stories, is the follow up to the hugely popular indie sensation, September Ends. September Again finds Liz Snow Savage leaving England. She follows her daughter Zelda Savage back to America after Zelda’s betrayal of her. More drama ensues as Liz looks for meaning in life while Zelda finds her direction after the tragedy of losing Jack O. Savage, The Poet. Set mainly in Chattanooga, Tennessee, September Again chronicles the rhythm of life’s cycles. The ebb and flow of love unravel the mystery of Liz’s past. September Again allows a further glimpse into the intricate web of passion and desire which have entangled Liz Snow, Pete Hendrix and Jack O. Savage for years. Will a chance encounter finally reveal the truth? What act will change the destiny of Liz and Zelda forever? The story of sin, salvation and redemption continues in Book 2 of the September Stories, told through a mosaic of prose with a smattering poetry.

Magic happens when you least expect it. 

Available now at Amazon

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If you haven’t read the first book September Ends, hop on over to my review of it and see why you should really, really read September Ends.

Such is Life by Jeri Walker-Bickett

JeriWB 03 (180x180) I came across Jeri on the interweb when perusing it for great blogs to read about books and emerging, new authors. (She has a great blog, you really should take a look. Just follow the yellow brick road, erm, I mean, click your heels together. Shoot, of course I mean you should click this link!)

It turns out she’s not only a book lover, blogger and fun person, but she has a book of her own! It’s on my wish list and I’d like to introduce her and her book to you.

Let’s started with a little something about Jeri Walker-Bickett.

Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) is an author, editor, and teacher. She primarily writes contemporary fiction and psychological suspense. Her forthcoming novel, Lost Girl Road, is a ghost story set in the woods of northwest Montana. She blogs about literature and writing on her twisted book blog: What do I know? Please connect with her at JeriWB.com. http://jeriwb.com/

Despite growing up in the rough Idaho mining town of Wallace, she earned multiple writing degrees, and became a devoted English teacher who has since left the classroom to pursue writing and editing full time. Food and travel continually inspire her creativity and love of photography. In addition, she dabbles in writing creative nonfiction, poetry, and educational materials. She currently lives in Idaho with her wonderful husband and their demanding pets.

Right, the book we are all going to have to read. (I know I will get my copy in the next book buying round.)

Such is Life by Jeri WalkerBickett (427x640)

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK

SUCH IS LIFE

Five short stories

These realistic short stories in Such if Life feature characters down on their luck, yet stubborn enough to move on. A tryst between a carnival worker and a pretty high school student begs the question of who takes advantage of who. A young man’s encounter with a drug addict finds him striking out on his own in hopes of a better life. An English teacher publishes literature deemed inappropriate by a Mormon community. A mother goes on a quest to get rid of the family’s aggressive pet. Finally, New Orleans provides the backdrop for a stroll with a psychotic housewife. Such is life!

After reading the blurb I wanted more, so I went and asked Jeri for an excerpt, because I imagined the housewife to be something like this.

housewife

I’m glad she came back with the following excerpt.

Burrowed in a nest of covers I pretend to sleep. The pillow feels like a cloud suffocating my head. I was only out for three hours before waking from an anxious and restless sleep. The alarm clock’s red glow dares me to fall asleep again. I always wake before it goes off at six o’ clock. Today, phrases I might utter to my doctor this afternoon crawl through my mind. I want to lean over and throw up.
I slide my foot across the bed and touch Tom’s furry calf. He pulls away and flops around. We always used to fall asleep with some part of our bodies touching, but now we cling to opposite mattress edges. It’s been forever since we had to avoid a wet spot on the sheets. I try to convince myself that Tom is screwing someone else, but he isn’t interesting enough for that. Maybe I’m the one who wants to cheat. I really don’t know.
I fantasize about falling asleep and the clock’s numbers meld to the insides of my eyes and spiral in a dizzy succession. Once the numbers stop spinning, I concentrate on the traces and blobs of color that float across my closed eyes. I’m awake and I want to be asleep, but my brain won’t let me sleep; it’s so selfish, always thinking about itself.
The alarm buzzes. I trod downstairs to the kitchen. In better years, the sunlight blanketing the banister with a golden glow would make me pause. Now it just hurts my eyes. Tom rushes about, gulping coffee, gearing up for work. I smear mayonnaise on slices of bread for our children’s sack lunches. Last Wednesday, Billy told me I forgot everything else on his and Shelly’s sandwiches. Just mayonnaise.
Some mother I am.
What my children really want are those meals that come pre-packaged in plastic compartmentalized trays. I know I’ll give in sooner or later and add them to the shopping list, which will sure as hell give me one less thing to worry about.
“Don’t forget your appointment today.” Tom’s lips are puckered before I even turn around. It’s always a passionless, dry kiss anymore—quick as can be.  He finishes off with “I love you, Marinza.” His brown eyes look sullen as if he’s contemplating what he just said.  I don’t see how he can still love me.
“I love you, too, Tom.” I slap cheddar cheese on two bread slices. The cheese reminds me of limp flesh and the lettuce feels like decaying skin. A corpse sandwich. Tom leaves me pretty much alone as long as I pretend to be interested in his work and a goody-goody mommy. All I have to do is keep my appointments. Dr. Demi and I are working towards a new and improved (more sane) Marinza.
Are you tickled? Please let us know if you want to know where this leads, or how you think this will end.

Words Often Confused

There are words that are simple–or sometimes obscure–and yet we sometimes have trouble using them properly. When writing, we make mistakes and only find them after proofreading, or not, which leaves us embarrassed. To prevent this from happening in future, I’d like to take a stroll down a wordy lane with you.

A or An?

That one’s easy. At least that’s what you would think. When the first letter of the word following has the sound of a consonant, we should use “a” and when that following word starts with a letter that sounds like a vowel, we use “an.”

Difficulties arise when using abbreviations. Let’s look at “FAQ.” Pronounced as a word, “fak” would become “a FAQ,” because the first letter of FAQ is not only a consonant, but also sounds like one. Spelled out, the first letter transforms from a consonant to a vowel, leaving us with “an eff-a-q.”

The difference a letter makes.

Swap an “s” for a “c” in advice and you get advise. Now, that’s one easily made mistake that changes everything about the word.

Advice is a noun meaning recommendation, while advise (verb) is the giving of a recommendation.

What if you substitute the ‘e’ for an ‘i’ in ‘complement’? That would turn the addition which serves to form a whole into a compliment, i.e. praise (verb or noun when it’s used as an expression of admiration).

To separate or stick together?

Then we have those words people are inclined to glue together, or not when they should.

“All together now,” said the conductor to the choir as one singer was out of tune.

“It wasn’t all together his fault.” But this is a fault, because he was alone, so he couldn’t be “all together.” Here it should read: “It wasn’t entirely his fault,” or rather: “It wasn’t altogether his fault.”

And what to think of “any more” versus “anymore”? Remember not to make any more (additional) mistakes after reading this, because you don’t need to anymore (nowadays).

Oh, those look-a-likes!

What to think of those words that sound the same, but mean completely different things? They are even written almost the same.

Allude, elude and illude, what to use when? If you refer indirectly to something, you allude, but if you avoid being captured, you elude, and when you mislead, you illude.

Not so difficult after all, just a thing to remember.

But what about ‘effect’ and ‘affect,’ which to use when? Put the pair in one sentence and their difference shows immediately. “The effect of her actions affected me.” Or in other words, “Her actions caused an emotional response,” i.e. influenced me.

That just about sums up the big difference between those two small words.

And then there is that elusive trio: lie, lay, and lie. Who doesn’t mistake one for the other at times?

“I will not lie, not down and not to you.” As you can see that one word—lie—has two meanings in this one sentence. They sound the same, are written the same, and only context reveals the meaning of the word. First one, to recline, and the second one, to tell a falsehood. Laying something down changes how the word is written, because a thing is inherently inert and cannot recline on its own volition. It needs to be laid.

“I like to lie about when I lie down for a nap, while I lay a book over my eyes.” All three possibilities of the trio in Present Tense. As you can hear—and see—the two things done by a human are written the same, while the one concerning an object is once again written differently. A good clue to keep in mind: When in doubt, if an object is in play, use lay. But remember that goes for Present Tense.

“I laid a book over my eyes as I lay down for a nap, but I lied about it.” All in Past Tense. As you can see the ‘rule’ given one paragraph up doesn’t work in past tense.

Basically with the verbs lie and lay, you just need to memorise their proper use. Just remember “to lie” is a thing humans do with their body, while “to lay” is something a person does with a thing.

Often, or rather mostly, we rely on the spellchecker to find our typos. What if we scramble our word into another also existing one and the spellchecker doesn’t catch it because it’s switched off, or the word just isn’t in its dictionary? “The tied came rolling in.” All perfectly proper English words, but one is wrong. Not the word itself, just which word is used. It should read: “The tide came rolling in.”

And that’s why I can’t stress it enough: Do not rely on the machine to check for typos, but read and re-read and then proofread and have it proofread, before you send something off into the world and to your readers.

This is certainly not a complete list; there’s much to be mistaken about and you wouldn’t be the first to make such mistakes, or the last. Keep in mind to proofread and don’t wail like a whale when you’ve fallen for the wile of words while you weren’t paying attention.

(Originally published in The Writers Beat Quarterly Issue #36)