March Wrap Up

The perfect Review: To the point opinions with clarifications.

Kristin Kraves Books

Wrap Up (2)# of Books Read: 12

# of Pages Read: 3,559

Favourite Book(s) of the Month: The Nickel Boys, The Bride Test, Daisy Jones and the Six

A Serial Killer’s Daughter by Kerri Rawson


I enjoy when books are told from an interesting perspective. I appreciated that Kerri Rawson was so open and willing to share her story. We do not often think of the serial killer’s family, but they themselves are often victims in their own way. She is inspiring in a lot of ways. I liked that she was looking back at her childhood in hindsight. There are things her dad did that seem obviously twisted to us now, but it is hard to see when you are living it. I do wish I had read a book about BTK and his crimes before I picked this one up. I do not know a lot about him, and A…

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Dancing with Baby


She fills the sink till the bubbles rise

She washes the dishes and she sighs

Just like her dreams, the bubbles pop

and disappear,

 till she is left

with only her fears

Baby is pulling at her knee

She picks him up, and twirls him, weeeeee…

The radio is playing its musical fantasy

Vibrating the air

And in the kitchen, there

She dances with baby on her hip

And because she loves

The laughter on his sweet face

She makes herself content to wait

For the dreams she knows she needs 

To make her life complete

And so, she dances with baby on her hip

They twirl around and around

Speaking words that make no sound

The Cave


They were ten and twelve, scrawny arms and gamboling legs. Best friends on this late spring day. The rains had come and gone, washing away the remnants of winter’s debris. They race along the ridge, chasing winds that whisper secrets only they can hear.  They follow those whispers deep into the woods, lured from an often trod path.

For who can resist the wind?

“Hey,” calls out the eldest, his ginger hair curling from beneath his baseball cap, “What”s this?”

The youngest, to prove his mettle, leaps over the narrowest part of the crevice, “Aw, probably just a cave.”

“It looks old. And deep,” Ginger says, his interest piqued, though he stands back, eyes narrowed.

The younger one, his hair blowing stick straight, black as a raven’s wing, says,” Could be Indian bones inside,” his brown eyes wide with challenge.

The gauntlet thrown,  Ginger puffs out his chest, though his heart kicks up, “Let’s go to the edge of the cave, just to see?”

Raven grins, “You go first, I’ll stick close.”

Ginger lowers his legs over the crevice, than slips down until his feet touch spongy earth. Shale from the outcropping falls in behind him. He takes a step and then another. The decline drops suddenly, sharply.  “Oh, oh,” Ginger cries out. The Oh’s echo up and up. Shale and stone slide in behind him, clattering and echoing.

“Hey, you okay?” Black has scurried back from the crevice, legs and arms careening in a crab-like fashion. He stands on hard earth, pacing, pacing.

Black calls out again and again; his voice, only his voice echoes back. They’d been warned not to leave the path. He had only followed.

The sun falls behind the trees; threads of purple trace their tops. Black picks his way through the shadows; the menacing trees.

The wind chases him, pushing him sideways, slapping at his head, twisting his black hair.

And the echoes, insistent, the echoes are inside his head.







The Romance Shelves:  March Roars in with Big Names!

Romance is in the air with the coming of Spring!


By Cathy Maxwell

Historical Romance reigns this spring with books by legendary authors. Let’s jump right into it—

Devil's Daughter: The Ravenels meet The Wallflowers Cover ImageA new release by the wonderful Lisa Kleypas is always reason to celebrate. DEVIL’S DAUGHTER is a redemption tale and let me raise my hand, I am a sucker for those stories.  It is Book #5 of the Ravenal’s series, however don’t be deterred from jumping right in. It easily stands alone. So, story—widow Phoebe wants nothing to do with bad boy West Ravenal because of his wicked reputation and old grudges her late husband harbored. In contrast, West wants everything to do with her. Sparks fly, and so will the pages once you start reading. Kleypas is a smart, smart writer.Lady Derring Takes a Lover: The Palace of Rogues Cover Image

Julia Anne Long is back with a new historical romance. Her characters come alive in your mind because she is just that good.  In LADY DERRING TAKES A LOVER

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The Short Story: Need, Limits, and Theme #amwritng

After reading your post, I went back to my story and gave it a once over. Such great information in this post. Loved it.

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

When writing a short story, it helps to know how it will end. I suggest you put together a broad outline of your intended story arc. I’m a retired bookkeeper, so I have a mathematical approach to this. Divide your story arc into quarters, so you have the important events in place at the right time.

Assume you have a 4000 word limit for your short story.

You have less than three paragraphs before a prospective editor sets your work aside. If those paragraphs don’t grab her, she won’t buy your story. Pay attention: you absolutely must have a good opening paragraph.

The first 250 words are the setup and hook. The next 750 words takes your character out of their comfortable existence and launches them into “the situation” –will they succeed or not?

The next 2,500 words detail how the protagonist arrives at a resolution.

The final 500 words…

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The Dark Side of the Moon

Karen Dowdall has written a jaw dropping short story. Here’s hoping she turns it into a novel.

Pen & Paper

They are gone. All of them. I am alone on this planet. A planet now little more than a dustbin of old dreams of what could have been. They didn’t heed the warnings of what was to come without change.

Perhaps, it would have happened anyway. The change in the atmosphere was a warning, dismissed as fake news, until it wasn’t. The storms grew more violent, the sea raged over embankments, sea levels rose exponentially, displacing millions of families and communities around the planet. Fierce and deadly land wars began, food shortages were everywhere. All signs that something terrible was about to happen.

It started slowly at first. The air began to lose oxygen gas, nitrogen gas, and argon gas. It was replaced with greenhouse gases released from fossil fuels: nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and methane. The Atmosphere, Biosphere, and the Geosphere showed overwhelming signs that complete degeneration would…

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In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey

For those who love a true “Once Upon a Time” tale.

Cover to Cover


Charles Hayden has been fascinated by a strange Victorian fairy tale, In the Night Wood, since he was a child. When his wife, Erin – a descendant of the author – inherits her ancestor’s house, the couple decide to make it their home. Still mourning the recent death of their daughter, they leave America behind, seeking a new beginning in the English countryside.

But Hollow House, filled with secrets and surrounded by an ancient oak forest, is a place where the past seems very much alive. Isolated among the trees, Charles and Erin begin to feel themselves haunted – by echoes of the stories in the house’s library, by sightings of their daughter, and by something else, as old and dark as the forest around them.

A compelling and atmospheric gothic thriller, In the Night Wood reveals the chilling power of myth…

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