Category Archives: Books

A New Short Story: Requiring of Care

I dropped a broad hint about a new story about 10 days ago. I even teased with a faux tweet back in August. I’m done hinting and teasing. Today you get the real thing!

short story, Smashwords, Cameron D. Garriepy

Requiring of Care | Smashwords.com

I’m pleased to announce that–just in time for Halloween!–my second short story, Requiring of Care, is now available via Smashwords and Amazon.com for $0.99!

Here’s the teaser from the Requiring of Care page on Smashwords.

Lucy Montgomery answers an unusual Help Wanted ad: Twelve-forty-two High Street. One girl, aged eight years, requiring of care. Between pressed flowers, blood on the wall, and dark closets, Lucy is pulled into the world of Violet, a little girl who holds fragments of a haunting story.

Smashwords offers downloads in every digital format you might need: Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo, PDF and online reading, and of course the iPod/Phone/Pad. Smashwords will also be distributing the story to the major e-retailers in a few weeks, if you prefer to download direct.

For my Kindle user friends, just click here to download Requiring of Care directly!

Thank you all for your continuing support and feedback. My wonderful friends and readers are a blessing.

And if, while you’re visiting the story on either of the pages linked above, you find it in your heart to Stumble, Pin, Like, or Tweet it? Well, to say I’d be grateful would be an understatement.

Thanks again, and happy reading!

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Career of the Day: Book Reviewer-er

In all seriousness, friends and readers, my pal Katie, who, in addition to mothering, teaching, and bonding with me over how hilarious Andy Samberg is, is one of the writerly trinity at The Red Dress Club. Busy, right? Now, I’ll tell you about her eleventy-seven three websites. So, there’s the blog about parenting and marriage and life and love, Sluiter Nation, the blog for her creative non-fiction (and occasional fiction), Exploded Moments, and her book review site, Katie’s Bookcase.

Katie recently opened up her forum for guest reviewers, and I maybe jumped on it with a review idea I’d been tossing around. Katie’s running that review right now. It’s my favorite book in the history of ever. The Eight, by Katherine Neville.

So, go read Katie’s gajillion blogs, go follow her on twitter: @ksluiter, and enjoy my first ever book review!

Thoughts On Other People’s Thoughts On Fiction

The Women’s Colony is abuzz today with the literature vs. popular fiction debate. Go read it there. I refuse to paraphrase the gifted writers over there. I read early, I’m sure the comments have gotten better, but a few early ones caught me:

The writer of that letter clearly doesn’t know what she’s talking about. If she did, she wouldn’t have failed to include the REAL hack…er…I mean, writer, Stephanie Meyer.

Here’s my letter to you in response:

Dear Professor Mary,

Fail that student.

Love,
~aaryn

Let’s ignore the dropping for a sec. I really respect Aaryn’s writing. She makes me laugh, she makes me mad, she makes me think, and her daughter is just beautiful! And I agree with her as regards sub-par writing being touted as themostamazingbookseverohmygodyouguyssparklyvampires! Here’s the thing, I’ve read the Twilight books. I didn’t pick a team, but I was entertained. I have critiques in abundance, but that’s not my point today.

This commenter made an excellent point.

I just checked back to see if the course was Contemporary Literature as this would give you reason to fire Aaryn’s email straight back at your student but as it was Contemporary Fiction …. well, there may be some validity in what your student says. Populist doesn’t necessarily mean poor writing. Although I still shudder at Donna Tartt’s ‘Secret Garden’ and think Zadie Smith’s ‘White Teeth’ may be a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes..

The course description didn’t say Popular Fiction. It said Contemporary Fiction. This commenter summed it up nicely.

Oh, good grief. Isn’t the point of education to broaden yourself? Omission from a college syllabus of contemporary writers isn’t a slam on King, Rowling, et al. I personally would be pissed if I were paying for a lit course that turned out to cover books II could buy on the paperback rack at the supermarket.

So on to my stance. I read. A lot. I read magazines, blogs, a broad range of novels, even the occasional dip into nonfiction. Here’s what I like. I like stories, good ones, even if I’ve seen the basic structure before. I like characters. If I like the characters, and the writing style isn’t dumbed down (which can be a problem in a lot of “popular fiction”), I’ll read it.

So, here’s me, lifelong reader, self professed lover of character and story, sitting on a pricey, elitist college education, and I decided to turn my hand to writing a story of my own. Guess what? It’s very likely going to be a single title contemporary romance. Hopefully, a smart one with likable characters and a literate writing style, but a paperback beach read nonetheless.

Will it ever be published? Hope so. Will it ever be on a college syllabus? Probably not. And that’s okay. Let’s expand our horizons and grow with Contemporary Fiction, but let’s not discount Popular Fiction indiscriminately.

BBJ Returns From China, Felix Loses A Shoe

Big Brother J is back from an epic, two and a half week trip to China with his grandparents. It sounds like an amazing trip, and I can’t wait to look at the pictures once the slideshow is ready!

Felix lost a green Croc on Cambridge Street.

The books I have been waiting for for a week are not coming. They are out of stock. (Why it took a week for the vendor to let me know this is a mystery.) I have been refunded. I will be going to the bookstore tonight, since I finished The Amber Spyglass this afternoon, and now have nothing to read.

Our nap schedule is shifting, and Felix is not loving it.

That’s all I’ve got for today, but in the interest of getting back into the habit of frequent posting, I’m putting it out there anyway.

Interests Other Than Blogging?

It’s been more than a month since I’ve posted, and I promise, it has nothing to do with lack of inspiration. I’ve started and abandoned more than two dozen posts in the last months, but here’s the truth. I was lazy.

And I was reading. Books. With paper pages.

I read the first part of a family drama called Wild Swan. Then, I got sucked back into Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta novels, and decided to reread the whole series. That’s 16 books from Postmortem to Scarpetta, and it took me all of April and some of my vacation (yes, vacation, and I’ll post on that later) to read them. I am now caught up, and awaiting the publication of the next one.

I read Twilight, since so many of my friends and contemporaries were reading it, and against my more intellectual instincts, I was drawn in to the story, and am waiting to acquire the rest of the series.

While I’m waiting, I decided to stick with the young adult theme, and am just finishing up the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. I haven’t read like this since before Felix was born. It’s been exhilarating, and it’s entirely zapped my motivation to blog.

Look for upcoming vacation debriefing, and photos of the beginnings of the new front entryway. And hopefully some light gardening.

Happy Spring, and welcome back!

Tea Leaves on Page 56

Apparently, feeding the munchkins sparked some conversation. Nice!

And now, some filler until I can think normally again.

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.

I’ve done this one before. I find it entertaining. Kind of like reading tea leaves.

“Brrr’s recall of what had happened before seemed limited to apparent causes of what had happened next.”

from A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire

Reading. Be Back Soon.

I had a post all set, save for the photos, but it’s been backburnered. I got my hands on my mother’s copy of Katherine Neville’s The Fire last night, the long awaited sequel to my favorite book of all time, The Eight. I’ll be back tomorrow, likely after I’ve finished it.

Book Club 2008: Third Month

This month’s selection was Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Let me begin by saying that I’m often turned off by literary hype. If everyone is reading a book because Oprah said to, then I’m going to avoid it until the buzz dies down. It’s not because I assume I’ll dislike it. It’s more to avoid being lured into the trap of only reading things that the media tell me are good. That’s why I was so psyched about this “club.” With so many diverse women choosing the reading list, how could I be led astray? Needless to say, when Eat Pray Love turned up on the list, I thought, “Well, duh. I know I should read that. Tell me about a book I didn’t see on a bestseller list.”

Also, the reader before me told me she didn’t particularly care for it, and I thought, “Ha! Not everyone loves this book!” It’s almost like I was setting myself up to dislike the book to prove some point about myself. I am not part of the New-York-Times-Bestseller-List-Reading Mob(Was all this introspection brought on by reading this book, I wonder?)

That said, I loved it. I ate up every word. I thought about what Ms. Gilbert had to say about prayer and faith and belief. Some of it resonated very deeply with me. I want to go to Bali. I want to go back to Italy. I think I can live without going to India, but I won’t turn down an opportunity, if one presents itself down the road. I want to recommend this book.

Next Month: Rise and Shine, by Anna Quindlen

Book Club 2008: 2nd Month

I forgot to post a review of my second book in the book circle. This was the first selection from another reader, so I was excited to get into it. It was originally going to be What Is Mine by Anne Holt, but it got switched at the last minute to The Third Secret by Steve Berry.

The Third Secret, by Steve Berry

Let me start by saying that I’ve read his work before. I thoroughly enjoyed both The Templar Legacy and The Romanov Prophecy. This novel centers around the pope (it was written before Pope Benedict, and tells the story of the Pope after John Paul II) and past accounts of Marian visions around Europe, particular the visions at Fatima. I love Vactican intrigue stories, so this was an easy read for me. Add to it a novel which questions Catholic dogma and reaches slightly different conclusions than you might expect, a good love story, murder and mayhem, and you’ve got this book. I’d recommend it, especially if you like your yummy fiction with a little thought on top.

Next month: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. (and yes, I know I’m the last person on the planet to read this book…)

Book Borrowing


One of the things I love about our library is that it’s part of a huge inter library loan network with online catalogs, renewals, and requests. It’s perfect for the lazy time crunched mother. So, last night I went and picked up my most recent stash.

Knitting books much?