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R is for Romance #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I'm discussing different book genres/categories. Each day, I will give a few details about the...

November 28, 2015

Featured Book: Lucky Penny by L. A. Cotton

Lucky Penny 

L.A. Cotton

Contemporary Romance

November 30, 2015



I was his lucky Penny. He was my light in the dark, hope in despair. Our bond was one of survival, friendship...first love. 

But then we were ripped apart and Blake Weston became the memory I turned to when everything else in my life fell apart. 

Seven years later, a summer working at Camp Chance is supposed to be my fresh start. Beautiful scenery and the chance to better the lives of foster children - kids like me. But when my eyes land on him across the fire, time stands still and feelings come rushing back to the surface. I thought I'd moved on, tucked him away in my heart. One look into his soulful blue eyes and I know I'm wrong. Blake Weston can heal the broken parts of me. Restore my hope. Love me. 

It's our second chance. A sign we are supposed to be together. 

Isn't it?

I was twelve when I survived the accident that killed my parents. Fourteen when I survived the devil. And sixteen when I survived a heartbreak of the worst kind. 

But in my twenty-three years, Blake Weston might just be the first thing I won't survive. 




“Blake …” The next words lodged in my throat. What was I supposed to say here? I didn’t do this—I didn’t bare myself to people. Let alone to the one person who had known me so well once upon a time.
“Don’t, Penny. Not tonight, just enjoy this. Just this.” His thumb rubbed circles along my hand.
Finding comfort in his words—no matter how cryptic—I allowed myself to let go. At that moment, I wasn’t broken Penny trying to find the right words to say to the guy who had once been my world. I was just a girl lying next to a boy watching the stars.
Blake sighed quietly as if he was about to say something more, but when his body relaxed again, I knew the moment had passed. Maybe some things were just too hard to say—better left unsaid. Life had taught me never to take for granted the good moments because they always ended. And no sooner than we had lay down in the grass, Blake let go of my hand and rose to his feet.
“We should probably get back.”
“Okay,” I said unable to meet his eyes.
The buzz I had felt earlier following Blake into the night ebbed away and was replaced with something much more unsettling. Was this his way of saying goodbye? We still had a little over a week left; there was still time, and we were both returning to Columbus. It was goodbye but not forever. I hoped.
The short walk back to cabin row was awkward, and I fell into old habits, hugging myself tight. Blake seemed just as tense, his hands jammed in his cargo pockets and his hood still pulled up over his head. The path started to widen like the pit gnawing in my stomach. The lost me wanted to flee back to the cabin, close the door, and hide away from the emotional turmoil warring in me, but the stronger me—the me I had become thanks to Camp Chance—didn’t want to leave things like this.
“Blake …” I paused and turned to face him. “I don’t want to-”
Blake closed the distance between us and stood almost toe to toe with me. His eyes locked on mine and he stared down at me; full of unspoken promise, his gaze sent my heart into overdrive. “I shouldn’t have waited so long to do this.” His hand brushed along my jaw and into my hair drawing me close to him. He leaned down and covered my mouth with his own.
And I let him.
My body didn’t just fall against him; it melted. His touch. The feel of his lips moving against mine. How did I ever let myself forget this? Force myself to forget? His smell. The way he tasted as his tongue licked the seams of my lips before parting my mouth.
Since my first kiss, at the age of fourteen, I had kissed only three other guys: Bryan, Michael, and Cal. Bryan made me cry because he didn’t understand my anxieties, Michael was patient and kind as we explored my boundaries, and Cal made me feel nice. But none of them came close to making me feel the rainbow of emotions I was experiencing wrapped in Blake’s arms.
I didn’t ever want it to end.



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November 27, 2015

Holiday Buying Guide 2015

by Donna Huber

It's that time of year again where we have to find the perfect gift for the most difficult gift buying people on our lists - book lovers. You know they love books, but they devour them at the speed of light so you are never sure if they've read it already. Below are some of my most favorite books I have read this year and since they aren't necessarily block busters its a good chance the book lovers on your list haven't read them.

For young readers (Middle Grades and Young Adult)

cover Warren the 13th and the All Seeing Eye
Meet Warren the 13th – the lone bellhop, valet, waiter, groundskeeper, and errand boy of his family’s ancient hotel. It’s a strange, shadowy mansion full of crooked corridors and mysterious riddles – and it just might be home to a magical object known as the All-Seeing Eye. Can Warren decipher the clues and find the treasure before his sinister Aunt Annaconda (and a slew of greedy guests) beat him to it?

Read my review
Buy Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye at Amazon

cover Seed
All that Pearl knows can be encapsulated in one word: Seed. It is the isolated community that she was born into. It is the land that she sows and reaps. It is the center of her family and everything that means home. And it is all kept under the watchful eye of Papa S.

At fifteen years old, Pearl is finally old enough to be chosen as Papa S’s companion. She feels excitement... and surprising trepidation that she cannot explain. The arrival of a new family into the Seed community — particularly the teenage son, Ellis — only complicates the life and lifestyle that Pearl has depended upon as safe and constant.

Ellis is compelling, charming, and worldly, and he seems to have a lot of answers to questions Pearl has never thought to ask. But as Pearl digs to the roots of the truth, only she can decide what she will allow to come to the surface.

Read my review
Buy Seed at Amazon

cover Naked
The best place to hide is in a lie…

I could never fit in to the life my parents demanded. By the time I was thirteen, it was too much. I ran away to New York City…and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Now I am Dirty Anna. Broken, like everything inside me has gone bad.

Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. Down the hall. In classes. And the only hope I can see is in the wide, brightly lit smile of Jackson, the boy next door. So I lie to him. I lie to protect him from my past. I lie so that I don’t have to be The Girl Who Went Bad.

The only problem is that someone in my school knows about New York.

Someone knows who I really am.

And it’s just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed…

Read my review
Buy Naked at Amazon

cover When You Leave
Cass is positive that the people she cares about most will eventually leave her. Her father is gone, her mother doesn’t notice Cass exists, and her best friend’s battle with cancer was too close of a call. So when she begins her year at a wealthy new private school, Cass’s plan is to suffer through it in anonymity.

However, when her cute locker neighbor, Cooper, shows an undeniable attraction toward Cass, keeping him at a safe distance isn’t easy. Even though her Frogtown skater world and his do-gooder preppy one are so different, Cass and Cooper somehow mesh. And once Cass lets her guard down, Cooper is mysteriously murdered—thus proving her original theory.

When Cass’s close friend is suspected as the killer, she isn’t sure who she can trust anymore. Between investigating Cooper’s murder and trying to understand what she really meant to him, will Cass even find what she is looking for?

Monica Ropal’s tension-filled and emotionally-charged YA debut explores the issues of an outsider looking in, and her desperation to find the impossible answers. Why do people leave? And who will be next?

Read my review
Buy When You Leave at Amazon

For older readers

cover Winter Boy
Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, Mary Doria Russell and Ursula K. LeGuin, "The Winter Boy" explores important political and social issues within a dynamic, character-driven otherworld.

The Valley of the Alleshi is the center of all civilization, the core and foundation of centuries of peace. A cloistered society of widows, the Alleshi, has forged a peace by mentoring young men who will one day become the leaders of the land. Each boy is paired with a single Allesha for a season of intimacy and learning, using time-honored methods that include storytelling, reason and sex. However, unknown to all but a hidden few, the peace is fracturing from pressures within and beyond, hacking at the very essence of their civilization.

Amidst this gathering political maelstrom, Rishana, a young new idealistic Allesha, takes her First Boy, Ryl, for a winter season of training. But Ryl is a “problem boy,” who fights Rishana every step of the way. At the same time, Rishana uncovers secrets and conspiracies that could not only destroy Ryl, but threaten to tear their entire society apart. And a winter that should have been a gentle, quiet season becomes one of conflict, anger and danger.

Read my review
Buy Winter Boy at Amazon

cover The End of All Things
It started with a pandemic virus. Carly, the last survivor in Juneau, Alaska, struggles to survive, her only companion a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. Justin, an ex-special forces soldier, convinces Carly to accompany him on the perilous journey across the lawless wasteland that was once the United States.

Their search for a safe home is also a journey into friendship and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.

The walled town of Colby seems to be an ideal place for their fledgling community. With only nineteenth-century technology to aid them, they must learn skills long forgotten to provide for their basic needs, and decide how to move forward with society in a world where equality, justice, and freedom from tyranny are no longer guaranteed. When new threats emerge, Carly has to decide what she is willing to do—and how far she’s willing to go—to protect what she has worked so hard to build.

Read my review of book 1, book 2, and book 3
Buy The End of All Things series at Amazon

cover The Shadow Cartel
The sins of the past always return…

Called upon by a former love to look into the death of a family friend in Miami, veteran investigator Dominic Grey is sucked into the darkest reaches of international narcotics trafficking. The murders of multiple drug dealers during a bizarre religious ceremony, combined with the appearance of a mythical assassin, take DEA agent Federico Hernandez and CIA operative Lana Valenciano down the same deadly path.

Lying in wait is an enemy known only as the General: a criminal mastermind whose uncanny ability to avoid detection while cowing even the most ruthless of rival cartels has made him a legend.

Thrown together on a covert manhunt, Grey and the two government agents race across the Americas to unearth a dark chapter in the history of the CIA that has spilled into the present—and put them in the crosshairs of an underworld puppeteer with a frightening reach.

Read my review
Buy The Shadow Cartel at Amazon

cover Those Girls
Chevy Stevens is back with her most powerful, emotional thriller yet— a story of survival…and revenge.

Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father’s fists. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. Events spiral out of control and a chance encounter with the wrong people leaves them in a horrific and desperate situation. They are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives.

Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer when one of the sisters goes missing and they are pulled back into their past.

This time there’s nowhere left to run.

As much of a thriller as it is a deep exploration of the bonds among sisters, THOSE GIRLS is an unforgettable portrait of desperation, loyalty, and evil.

Read my review
Buy Those Girls at Amazon

cover The Guest Cottage
Sensible thirty-six-year-old Sophie Anderson has always known what to do. She knows her role in life: supportive wife of a successful architect and calm, capable mother of two. But on a warm summer night, as the house grows quiet around her and her children fall asleep, she wonders what’s missing from her life. When her husband echoes that lonely question, announcing that he’s leaving her for another woman, Sophie realizes she has no idea what’s next. Impulsively renting a guest cottage on Nantucket from her friend Susie Swenson, Sophie rounds up her kids, Jonah and Lacey, and leaves Boston for a quiet family vacation, minus one.

Also minus one is Trevor Black, a software entrepreneur who has recently lost his wife. Trevor is the last person to imagine himself, age thirty and on his own, raising a little boy like Leo—smart and sweet, but grappling constantly with his mother’s death, growing more and more closed off. Hoping a quiet summer on the Nantucket coast will help him reconnect with Leo, Trevor rents a guest house on the beautiful island from his friend Ivan Swenson.

Best-laid plans run awry when Sophie and Trevor realize they’ve mistakenly rented the same house. Still, determined to make this a summer their kids will always remember, the two agree to share the Swensons’ Nantucket house. But as the summer unfolds and the families grow close, Sophie and Trevor must ask themselves if the guest cottage is all they want to share.

Inspiring and true to life, The Guest Cottage is Nancy Thayer at her finest, inscribing in graceful, knowing prose matters of the heart and the meaning of family.

Read my review
Buy The Guest Cottage at Amazon

cover The Truth About Lies
On a daily basis, we are all tempted to enjoy the gifts of this world while making the Giver optional or irrelevant in our quest for life. But what if, in God's purposes, temptation is not merely an obstacle to overcome but an opportunity to flourish in faith?

Read my review
Buy The Truth About Lies at Amazon

cover Dear Stephanie
Paige Preston wants to end her life. After an unsuccessful attempt, she lands herself in mandatory therapy with a sexy psychiatrist. When he and an even more alluring friend begin to help her break down the walls she’s spent a lifetime building, Paige begins to see something bigger than herself. Is it enough to pull her out of her dark world and help her finally feel like a human? Or will letting someone in be the final step toward her demise?

Dear Stephanie is a sinfully addictive walk through a world of beauty, affluence, and incidental love that effortlessly moves the reader between laughter, tears, heartache, and hope with the turn of every “Paige.”

Read my review
Buy Dear Stephanie at Amazon

cover Fooling Around with Cinderella
What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella’s toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom. First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun.

My review will appear Dec. 7
Buy Fooling Around with Cinderella at Amazon

Need more recommendations? Check out previous buying guides: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

What are the best books you have read this year?

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

November 26, 2015

My #Thanksgiving Reading

by Donna Huber

We are only weeks away from the end of the year and I'm feeling the pressure to meet my Goodreads reading challenge goal. I made a goal of 72 books, but my reading slump this fall put me really behind. Thankfully I found some audio books to listen to at work and then yesterday I discovered a couple of short stories on my Nook. So I'm now only 1 book behind schedule which means I have 9 more books to read before the clock strikes midnight December 31st.

How are you doing on your reading challenge?

I currently have 3 books I'm reading: an audio book, an ebook, and a paperback.

In audio:
cover Longbourn

A brilliantly imagined, irresistible below-stairs answer to Pride and Prejudice: a story of the romance, intrigue and drama among the servants of the Bennet household, a triumphant tale of defying society's expectations, and an illuminating glimpse of working-class lives in Regency England.

The servants at Longbourn estate--only glancingly mentioned in Jane Austen's classic--take centre stage in Jo Baker's lively, cunning new novel. Here are the Bennets as we have never known them: seen through the eyes of those scrubbing the floors, cooking the meals, emptying the chamber pots. Our heroine is Sarah, an orphaned housemaid beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When the militia marches into town, a new footman arrives under mysterious circumstances, and Sarah finds herself the object of the attentions of an ambitious young former slave working at neighboring Netherfield Hall, the carefully choreographed world downstairs at Longbourn threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, up-ended. From the stern but soft-hearted housekeeper to the starry-eyed kitchen maid, these new characters come vividly to life in this already beloved world. Jo Baker shows us what Jane Austen wouldn't in a captivating, wonderfully evocative, moving work of fiction.

Buy Longbourn at Amazon

In ebook:
cover Awakening

In Awakening, the first installment in the Dark Rituals series, a former healer turns to the Death Arts to seek revenge.

Seventeen-year-old Colina was born a healer. But after a horrific event forces her to leave her clan, she becomes desperate to learn the dark magic of the death dealers, mages who draw their power from the spirits of the dead. Colina was taught to fear and hate death dealers, but becoming one of them is the only way for her to get the revenge she seeks—and the only way for her to survive.

Colina asks a young death dealer named Luke to help her, but he’s reluctant to train her in the Death Arts. Little does she know convincing him to teach her will be the easiest part of her journey. To become a death dealer, Colina will need to undergo three dark rituals, each more terrifying than the last. At the same time, she’ll have to deal with her growing feelings for her mentor. Too bad the first ritual involves him strangling her to death.

As Colina undergoes the trials, she discovers an untapped darkness within herself. If she survives the horrific rituals and gains dark power, what will she become?

Catrina Burgess’ Dark Rituals series originally appeared on Wattpad with over three million reads. Awakening is the first book of four and was named Wattpad’s Best Suspense Story of 2014.

Buy Awakening at Amazon

In paperback:
cover Imperfect

They call it the Slump: a city of ruins where orphaned street kids struggle to survive.

But to fifteen-year-old Summer Greenwood, it’s home. Not a good home, but at least there she can find food and shelter for her sisters, Lily and Tory.

To the powerful Making Perfect corporation, however, the Slump is a gold mine, a source of unending test subjects. Once a month, squads of company officials invade the ruins to capture orphans for their facilities. What happens to the kids they take is unclear—none of them ever return.

Then Summer herself is taken.

Forced into a series of grueling experiments, she soon discovers that Making Perfect’s ultimate goal is far darker than anything she imagined. As she fights to get back to the Slump and her now-defenseless sisters, she begins to understand why once you enter Making Perfect, you never get out.

Buy Imperfect at Amazon

What you reading this long holiday weekend? (Even if you aren't celebrating Thanksgiving, let me know what you are reading!)

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

November 25, 2015

The Pull of YA Fiction

by Kathleen Barker

Believe it or not, some writers are attracted to the Young Adult genre because they think this category is easier to write...that a child's or teen's mind is less demanding, easier to satisfy and, therefore, less demanding for an author.  I'm not making this up.  It has been privately admitted to me by a few.

Gae Polisner is NOT one of those authors.

Writing YA faction demands a special understanding of the young mind.   All of us have experienced the struggles that the teen years bring, but maturity erases the details.  We remember the most terrible and joyful events, but much of the everyday angst and embarrassment fades as we learn to deal with life as an adult.

Polisner's The Pull of Gravity shows that the author has an exquisite understanding of young minds.  Her characters Nick and Jaycee handle problems with siblings who torment and parents who disappear with an astounding authenticity.  Nick rages over a father who checks out physically by becoming grossly obese before abandoning his family.  His best friend, Scoot, is dying of progeria, and his brother, Jeremy, shoots holes in Nick's small bubbles of hope with snarky retorts.  When Scoot entrusts a valuable book to Jaycee, a journey to maturity begins.  Nick and Jaycee set off on a trip to find the now-deceased Scoot's father, unaware that it is all part of a plan.  Polisner also skillfully weaves Steinbeck's classic Of Mice and Men into the story.

The Pull of Gravity has already been incorporated into many classrooms as educators have realized its appeal to young readers.  I can't think of any other book that would shine more brightly in holiday gift wrap this season than this jewel of a story.  

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

November 24, 2015

Review: Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio

by Donna Huber

cover Warrent the 13th and the All Seeing Eye

Warren the 13th tiptoed across the roof of the Warren Hotel, causing the old slate tiles to clatter like bones. A crisp autumn wind snapped at his back, threatening to knock him off balance, but he kept going. A fall from the top of an eight-story building was the least of his worries. He had a chimney to repair.

The Review

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is a middle grades fantasy adventure full of secrets, riddles, villains, good guys, and mysterious people.

I selected this book when I was a winner at Armchair BEA  I thought my nephew would like the book. What I didn't realize was how much I would like the book. I don't read too many illustrated novels, but this one was really well done. The images and word art enhanced the story. I wish I had a final version because my advance copy didn't contain all the illustrations.

It was a really smart story that kept me engaged and looking forward to what would happen next. The riddles had me a bit stumped and I enjoyed how the mystery unfolded.

I wonder what the next adventure will be.

Warren the 13th would make a great present for a middle grades child or for a family to read together.

Buy Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye at Amazon

Book info:
available formats: ebook and print (224 pages)
published: November 2015 by Quirk Books
ISBN13: 9781594748035
genres: fantasy, mystery
target audience: middle grades
source: publisher
read: November 2015

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

November 23, 2015

Byddi Lee: Irishisms in America #MondayBlogs

The difference in language and how it is used in two countries that both speak English is astonishing. We see it all the time between British English and American English: rubbish and trash, nappies and diapers, trousers and pants, biscuits and cookies. Perhaps that last example is a stretch. I’ve come to appreciate that cookies are softer, chewy versions of their crisp and crunchy British counterparts. On my first visit to the US, many years ago, I bought a cookie in a shopping mall. It was soft. In Ireland, soft means it’s stale. So I brought it back to the vendor who patiently explained that they were supposed to be like that. I wondered what kind of a country I had come to, where the tea was cold (iced tea) and the biscuits soggy!

It took a while for me to get used to the word “pants” as well. On our side of the pond, you wear your pants under your trousers. I still struggle to keep my face straight and be gracious when someone here tells me they like my pants! In Ireland, I’d just slap them for looking where they shouldn’t.

Irishisms are another tier of language differences again. It’s a combination of our cultural differences and the fact that we have our own language hovering in the wings, known as Gaeilge or Gaelic. The sentence structure of the Irish language often puts the verb at the beginning of the sentence, so you might hear an Irish person say something like, “Will you be wanting milk in your tea?”

Then there are words that we have pulled directly from Gaelic. For example, an Irish person would know exactly what a “munchy” is. The Irish words muintir na háite (pronounced like “moon-chore na hat-cha”) literally translates as local people. Munchy is used in the same way an American would use the word “hillbilly” and it’s considered a fairly derogatory term.

One of my favorite words from the Irish language is craic, pronounced like “crack.” One of the most versatile and user friendly words we Irish have, it can mean fun, as in, “Was the pub good craic last night?”  It can mean gossip. For example, “Any craic from the pub last night?” means, “What happened at the pub?” Particularly did anyone disgrace themselves? Always a favorite topic of discussion. If you had a tale of lots of bad things happening in the pub last night, that would be “bad craic.” Of course, you don’t need a pub to feature in the craic at all but it helps!

cover March to November
My writing group in California found it difficult to get to grips with the word “craic” thinking it was some kind of illicit recreational drug. But Americans may be more familiar with the term “dig it” which is derived from the Irish an dtuigeann tú? (pronounced like “An dig-in too”) and means, “Do you understand?” Then there’s bróg (brogue) the Irish for shoe and cailín (colleen) for girl, to mention but a few.

Writing a book based in Belfast and having it critiqued by Americans held challenges, apart from the foreign words. I had to write in American English and do things like drop the “u” from words such as honor, favor and neighbor. Great – I’m all about one less keystroke. But concepts were another matter.

It took me most of an evening to explain to my writing group what a “hot press” was.

“It’s the cupboard you keep your emersion heater in,” I explained.

“What’s an emersion heater?”

Oh boy! An emersion heater is a big copper tank with an electrical element that heats up water. Some of that heat escapes into the cupboard around it, providing an excellent place to dry clothes, especially in a rainy country like Ireland, where surprisingly few people use tumble dryers. You have to turn the emersion heater on twenty minutes or so before you have a bath or shower to let it warm the water. You turn it off as soon as you are finished so that you don’t waste electricity, which is very expensive in Ireland, hence the shortage of tumble dryers. When I was a kid, leaving the emersion heater on was a crime right up there with doing drugs or getting pregnant.

In the end it was too hard to weave the explanation into in the book, and my character just didn’t bother with the damp towels. Instead, I sent her straight for her tea.

“Why is she having tea?” one critiquer asked, when I’d submitted the rewrite.

“Because it’s tea-time,” I replied.

“But can’t you drink tea anytime?”

Indeed, especially in Ireland where they drink tea all day long, my characters were constantly putting on the kettle. However, there is a time slot in the day called, “Tea-time,” which is at dinner-time. If you’ve already had dinner at lunch-time then dinner-time becomes tea-time. Supper can also take place at dinner-time, but dinner can never take place at suppertime - too late for such a heavy meal. Breakfast is always breakfast, unless it’s brunch which can be lunch if you don’t eat breakfast food.

Even within Ireland, Irishisms vary. The word “deadly” in Belfast means something is very bad craic. In Dublin, one hundred miles south, if you described something as “deadly” it is the equivalent of saying it is awesome! In Ireland, dead does not necessarily mean bad. Seriously, you can enjoy a good wake. A wake is what happens between someone dying and getting buried - and wakes can be good craic, especially if it’s the wake of someone old, who enjoyed a good life. Wakes are a party to celebrate that life and are, for the older generation, a huge social scene.

The Irish are all about the social scene. We are a very gregarious nation. By the third time I’d used a bar as a backdrop to a scene (different bars each time) my critiquing group thought my characters were complete alcoholics. But thankfully my fellow writers in America enjoyed the craic, and even as they questioned the amount of tea and Guinness the characters drank, they could dig it.

Buy March to November at Amazon

About the author:
Byddi Lee grew up in Armagh, Ireland, and moved to Belfast to study Biology at Queen’s University when she was 18. She made Belfast her home for twenty-one years, teaching science and writing for pleasure. In 2002 she took a sabbatical from teaching and traveled round the world for two years, writing blogs about her adventures as she went. She returned to Ireland in 2004 and resumed teaching. In 2008 she and her husband moved to San Jose, California where she made writing a full-time career. After the publication of her short story, Death of a Seannachai, she decided it was time to write, March to November.
She is currently writing her second novel, a science fiction story set in a future where the earth’s icecaps have melted and Armagh is the capital of Ireland.
Besides being a novelist, Byddi is also a Master Gardener. She writes a blog on life as an Irish gardener and traveler living in California called, “We didn’t come here for the grass.” She also gives talks and classes on gardening.

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.