“The Ballerina’s Gift” by Rachelle M. N. Shaw
If you love paranormal fiction with a horror edge, be sure to get a copy of The Ballerina’s Gift by Rachelle M.N. Shaw, which was recently released electronically via Amazon. It is the second story in The Porcelain Souls series; however, readers can download the first short story in the series, The Eyes That Moved, for free (also available at Smashwords)! And let me say, if you have ever found porcelain dolls to be creepy, your skin is about to crawl. I don’t want to say too much so as not to spoil anything; however, Rachelle has crafted an exceedingly fun story with interesting characters while building in elements of horror, the paranormal, and suspense — and I’m not just saying that because I am her friend and editor.
The Ballerina’s Gift is novella length and has a larger cast of characters than its predecessor, though not to the point of being overwhelming. Marley — the lead — is relateable, particularly for those who remember teenage drama and nastiness, and likable. Another character that draws attention is Huili, who I can’t wait to see more of in the future.
The story itself follows Marley as she attempts to inch her way up the social ladder by hosting a party while her parentals are away. Throw in her long-time crush, her nemesis, a whirlwind of rumors, and the supposedly haunted Whitson house and things are bound to spiral out of control. More may be at stake than Marley’s reputation.
To learn more about the novella, The Porcelain Souls series, and Rachelle, visit her website at http://rachellemnshaw.com/porcelainsouls/.
There’s still some life in me, even after this summer!
Whew! It’s been a long time since my last post–about three months, actually. But don’t fear, there’s still life in me; it’s just that summer is always hectic at my place of employment. Luckily, it is wrapping up, and we are now down to two special insert tabs, so there aren’t a lot of extra assignments to worry about on top of my normal assignments. With this in mind, I feel positive that I will be able to resume posting regularly again.
For this return post, I figured I’d update everyone on my current projects and what else I’ve been up to before returning to the regular writing-themed posts. Continue reading
One of my all-time favorites
Across the U.S., libraries have been gearing up for Banned Books Week, which was started by the American Library Association. The week promotes intellectual freedom and the right for individuals to express thoughts that might be unorthodox or unpopular — and for readers to be able to read those thoughts. This year’s Banned Book Week starts today and runs until Sept. 28,
Books get challenged or banned for different reasons; from religious reasons to being considered sexually provocative or violent, there truly is a wide gamut of reasons individuals try to remove books from libraries, particularly citing the access children have to these books. According to the ALA website, 5,099 books were challenged from 2000-2009. Of those challenge books, the break down is visible below:
- 1,577 challenges due to “sexually explicit” material;
- 1,291 challenges due to “offensive language”;
- 989 challenges due to materials deemed “unsuited to age group”;
- 619 challenged due to “violence”‘ and
- 361 challenges due to “homosexuality.”
Some of my all-time favorite books are challenged or have been so in the past, and include “The Harry Potter” series, “Of Mice and Men,” “Grapes of Wrath,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and many more. So it makes me exceedingly happy to be able to access these books: as it should make you as well. So this week stop by your local library and check out a banned or challenged book and revel in being able to do so. Or perhaps, relive one of your favorite banned books, particularly if it is one that you remember from your adolescence. Show challengers that they cannot ban or censor what you choose to read.
So what is your favorite(s) banned book? Share them below in the comment section!