Thought for the Day:
“The mystery story is two stories in one: the story of what happened and the story of what appeared to happen.”
~ Mary Roberts Rinehart ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Starting an agent search? The post HERE by Carly Watters on The Write Life is a must read.
I try to use tone in my writing, but I’m not sure I always pull it off. Derek Haines has a good article HERE on Just Publishing Advice that will help you use the proper tone in your writing.
I am not much of a Twitter user, but maybe I should be better about it. HERE is a good article by M. L. Davis on Uninspired Writers with 5 Reasons to follow literary agents on Twitter.
I got new glasses this week. In the times of Covid, that is no easy task. First, I was due for my appointment in June, but I couldn’t get an appointment for my exam until this month. I had to make another appointment to go back and pick out my frames. But there is no appointment to pick up the glasses. They just send them in the mail, and they don’t quite sit right on my face. I am having headaches every day. So now I will have to make another appointment to get them adjusted. Nothing is simple, it seems, in 2020. But we are almost to the end, and with the vaccines rolling out, I have great hope that it will be a much better year. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, whatever holidays you celebrate. I will probably take the next week or two off, so I will be back here in 2021.
Last week I offered a gently-read ARC of Sunshine by Marion Dane Bauer to one of you. This week’s winner if Jenni Enzor. Congratulations, Jenni! If you don’t know her, Jenni is an educator and writer who runs a great blog you can see HERE. She writes a lot of really good reviews, so check it out. Jenni, I will get your book out to you soon.
My favorite Christmas story is Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, so it shouldn’t surprise you that I am reviewing a ghost story/mystery this week. Okay, I probably should have done this in October, but, hey, it’s 2020. I’m going to miss having that for an excuse, but only a little tiny bit. I read about Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley and with illustrations by Xavier Bonet on another blog and was very excited to be able to get it from the San Francisco Book Review. Here is the review I wrote for them.
Five people in town receive invitations telling them they have each won an all-expenses-paid weekend at the beautiful Barclay Hotel in the mountains. When JJ, an amateur ghost hunter, sees his mother’s invitation, he begs to go along. The Barclay is supposedly haunted. At another house, Penny begs her grandfather to go and take her with. Both kids get to go, and it turns out Mr. Barclay has been murdered, and it is up to the five guests (and the two kids) to solve the mystery. Four of the guests are suspects! The kids meet Emma, their age, who lives at the hotel, and they decide they should work together to solve the mystery. But not everything is as it appears, and everyone seems to have secrets. Are there really ghosts at the Barclay? Can these kids figure this murder mystery out?
Author Fleur Bradley has written a real kid-friendly page-turner with lots of red herrings and difficult obstacles for the kids to overcome. The characters are relatable, the writing is terrific, and the story is compelling. Fun illustrations by Xavier Bonet will help kids, even reluctant readers, stick with it. This is a winner.
I have no giveaway this week since I donated the nice hardback copy I got to the school. Don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.