Friday Fictioneers: Catholic Ireland

 

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Nathan Sowers grandson of our own Dawn M. Miller

 

Catholic Ireland

 

Mother put biscuits on a tray. Father joked with our neighbours. Lots of sandwiches and tea were out when Father O’Neill, the parish Priest, came to visit our house. I would be sent into the shed with Father O’Neill to learn my prayers, become a good little Catholic boy. In the solitude and peace of the Lord, Father O’Neill always said. Without question my parents believed him in 1940s Catholic Ireland.
Years gone on, I think of the dark horrors I endured in that shed. I still have my faith. But I’m ready to expose the hell of my childhood.

 

 

My book Black Coat based on a previous Friday Fictioneers prompt is available at:

 

For Friday Fictioneers Writing Prompt. Check out the website at:

https://rochellewisoff.com/

Truth or Die By James Patterson & Howard Roughan Review!

Image result for truth or die james patterson

 

Truth or Die (2015) is a standalone novel by James Patterson & Howard Roughan.

 

The book follows the story of Trevor Mann who is a lawyer from New York. He is very much in love with his girlfriend Claire Parker who is a New York Times journalist and in the early pages we get a glimpse of what their life is like together. But soon their little world is shattered when Claire is killed in what is at first thought to be a mugging. But convinced otherwise the grief-stricken Trevor begins to investigate the case and goes on a mission for justice, truth and closure.

 

As Trevor investigates his girlfriend’s mysterious death, he finds out that Claire had found out things in the course of her work that someone or some people want to keep secret. Along the way he meets many characters and a list of suspects also rises which makes for many interesting twists and turns. My favourite character was Owen, a 19-year-old whizz kid who is really nerdy, bright and scientific and who has some of the best one-liners in the book. He is so intelligent and sharp-witted and a really interesting character. It was nice to see a teenager in a book with brains, ambition and purpose because many teenagers do have those qualities and dreams and the tired old stereotype in books that all teenagers are zombie-like and know nothing about nothing is often very off the mark. Undoubtedly teenagers like that exist (newsflash: there’s people older than teenagers like that too!) but there’s also teenagers like Owen so it was a nice change. (Oh and just to be fair, there’s those older than teenagers who are like Owen too!) I also really liked Beverley. She is a great example of a strong, smart woman in fiction. She has no fear of taking on misogyny when it comes her way and there is a particularly good scene during a round of clay pigeon shooting which made me smile.

 

I very much enjoyed this book. There was plenty of action and there was a really good plot that kept my attention throughout. There was also a lot of deep issues dealt with like grief and the need to find truth and justice in order to start healing towards closure. It asks the question whether anything will give someone closure after such a heartbreaking part of their life. The characters are a great mix and interact very well and very naturally with each other. There is a lot of layers to this book and so many different worlds combine which makes it a very interesting read.

 

There is often criticism of James’ books with co-authors and I don’t really get that myself. Undoubtedly James’ books on his own are amazing but his books with co-authors are amazing too. His books with co-authors help give a fresh and new feel to the stories as different writers working on a plot always do. And on a personal note, as a writer too, I think it’s nice to see authors get a break writing a book with such a legend of the thriller genre. (I’d love to get the chance to but that’s a whole other story!) And I think the co-authors do a very good job. It’s a great idea because it helps James’ readers to find these wonderful authors and in turn check out their work on their own. So I love the idea.

 

A great read. A real page-turner.

 

To purchase Truth or Die by James Patterson & Howard Roughan go to:

 

And for more about James Patterson and his work go to:

http://www.jamespatterson.com/

And for more about Howard Roughan and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8216.Howard_Roughan

 

 

 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe By C.S. Lewis Review!

I’m a little behind on this Readathon but I shall finish it! 🙂  
This review is did as part of the Children’s Books Readathon organised by James J. Cudney from This Is My Truth Now …   
Image result for cs lewis the lion the witch and the wardrobe

 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C.S. Lewis is a magical and imaginative piece of literature. It is the first book in the Narnia Chronicles of which there is seven books.

 

It follows the story of four children Lucy, Susan, Edward and Peter who find a remarkable wardrobe in a professor’s house which leads them into a new magical fantasy world called Narnia. Lucy comes across the wardrobe of adventure and while at first she is disbelieved, soon the other three children realise the truth that lies behind the wardrobe. Together the four embark on the adventure of a lifetime meeting the Great Lion Aslan along the way. On a side note there’s a band from Ireland called Aslan so I always grin at the Great Lion’s name.

 

The writing in this book is brilliant. Very slick and well pieced together. There is excellent attention to detail allowing the reader to visualise all these magical places. In addition to that the plot is well-crafted, there’s plenty of action and great dialogue. The characters all interact well with each other and help move the plot along in a great, adventurous and exciting flow.

 

There is however elements of sexism in this book which I’d find concerning in any book but especially in a childrens’ book as much of what children learn at a young age because we’re all impressionable at that age can be took as the right way to feel so I think that is dangerous. But I think if parents and guardians are responsible in their reading of this book and point out the wrong in certain parts then in an ironic way it can become a useful learning tool about the world. It was written many years ago and times were different but I don’t think that’s an excuse. Though it’s questionable whether C.S. would have written the book with these controversial pieces if this book was written in our time.

 

A great read. Very creative.

 

To get your free copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe go to:

https://martzian.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/chronicles_of_narnia.pdf

 

And for more about C.S. Lewis and his work go to:

http://www.cslewis.com/us/

Friday Fictioneers: Floating Lights

 

 

 

 

Floating Lights

 

Thoughts flowed through my mind. Floating lights on a river. I saw the things that made me who I was, the things I needed to change, the things I needed to cling to with fingernails on thread. I saw the many loved ones, the many strangers, the many haters. I saw life in it’s fullest in a few hours and then I woke up …

I rang my father, told him I was sick of him calling me “his daughter” because I was a trans son, rang my Mum, told her I loved her for always being there. Felt more relaxed.

 

My book Black Coat based on a previous Friday Fictioneers prompt is available at:

 

For Friday Fictioneers Writing Prompt. Check out the website at:

https://rochellewisoff.com/

61 Hours By Lee Child Review!

Image result for 61 hours lee child

 

 

61 Hours (2010) by Lee Child is the fourteenth book in the Jack Reacher series.

 

The story begins when a bus Jack has jumped on with a bus driver and a bunch of old people is crashed into by a lawyer and becomes stranded in a snowstorm near Bolton, South Dakota. Here with sixty-one hours to go, Jack is faced with murders, a mysterious military site, drug running, harrowing secrets and time is of the essence. Along the way he meets a variety of characters including Janet Salter, an elderly lady who is willing to take on corruption and risk her life in the name of justice. Janet was my favourite character. She is this wonderfully interesting intellectual nerd and I adore her. I love how Lee didn’t write her in a stereotypical fashion of being a sweet old lady with not much else to her. He most certainly didn’t make her the “token older person” which I really liked.

 

We know from the off that criminal mastermind Plato is behind it but we must find out who is involved with him. It is very intriguingly done and doesn’t feel contrived but at times the clues can become a bit obvious. There is also a bit of romance thrown in with Jack having a few flirty phone calls with Susan in Washington while they both investigate the case. In further books I’m looking to see how that turns out for them. I also enjoyed Janet’s cupid moments about them.

 

I think the book was very well-written. While the ending is not surprising, the suspense is done brilliantly. A very action-packed novel. There is also great background about the characters including Jack whose childhood we learn a bit more about in this outing. As a character Jack is great. He isn’t your stereotypical investigator. He is a nomad and I think it’s great that he is for two reasons. Firstly because it adds a fresh take and a fresh perspective to the crime thriller genre than is often done and gives more representation to nomads. And secondly I think it’s a very clever idea because it gives the writer a lot of scope for the series. With Jack travelling around all the time he is more likely to encounter more people and more interesting cases than if he was in one place or a mini bubble. This is the first Jack Reacher book I’ve read and I love the idea of that. I really liked him but the only thing I didn’t particularly like about Jack’s character was that he has a habit of assuming things before he actually knows them and that is a trait I’m not really fond of in people.

 

A very gripping page-turner. Very engaging.

 

To purchase 61 Hours by Lee Child go to:

 

And for more about Lee Child and his work go to:

https://www.leechild.com/

One Liner Wednesday – Lewis

Six One Liner Wednesdays …                  

 

 

Lewis was on his way home from work, carefree, when he witnessed a murder …

Lewis, not carefree anymore, rushed home and locked all doors …

Lewis, trembling hands, picked up the phone and rang the police …

Lewis heard they’d come real soon and he was relieved and sighed …

Lewis sat biting his fingernails until the knock on the door came …

Lewis answered and the policeman shot him in the head.

 

#1linerWeds badge by Cheryl, at dreamingreality646941880.wordpress.com/

 

In response to Linda G. Hill’s prompts which can be found at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/08/15/one-liner-wednesday-snail-mail/

Winnie-the-Pooh 1 By A.A. Milne Review!

Image result for winnie the pooh book 1

 

 

this review is did as part of the Children’s Books Readathon organised by James J. Cudney from This Is My Truth Now …     

 

Winnie-the-Pooh (1996) by A.A. Milne is a brilliant counting book featuring Winnie alongside regular pals Piglet, Christopher Robin and Eeyore.

 

Each page of this book we meet a new character and there is many intriguing adventures in this book including a trip to the North Pole. It is both a storybook and an informative book. This book also helps young children with their counting in a fun way through stories so they can learn this valuable skill of counting in an enjoyable way without pressure. Through  objects, the symbol and the word in the book, children learn how to count and it is did in a very accessible way. The book is also wonderfully illustrated by Ernest H. Shephard which really adds much magic to the book.

 

Witty, joyful and charming, this book is brilliantly imaginative with great characters. My personal favourite is Piglet who I find to be a lovable little nerd. A great book for children and adults alike. This book is a wonderful timeless book which is beautifully constructed.

 

A brilliant read.

 

To purchase Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne go to:

 

 

And for more about A.A. Milne and his work go to:

https://www.amazon.com/A.-A.-Milne/e/B000AP7ID2/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

And for more about E. H. Shepard and his work go to:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_2?ie=UTF8&text=E.+H.+Shepard&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=E.+H.+Shepard&sort=relevancerank

6 Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompts!

I am catching up on these six wonderful prompts and I have decided to make them into a mini continuing story following on from the last mini continuing story I did for Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Hope you all enjoy! 🙂

 

Gustation   

 

“It’s called gustation.”, I informed Al who was barely listening.

“What is babe?”

“When you taste something.”

“Pregnancy making you eat the dictionary?”, he smiled.

I grinned.

“I need to be reading something between calls at the office!”

“You need to be resting Nick. Not been in a bloody office!”

“I’m pregnant dude. Not dying!”

“Even so … so hit me with another one?”

“OK, sternutation?”

“You when the cookies are gone.”, he laughed.

“I get it, stern. Well you know, I have me cravings. The baby or babies is hungry …”

“You are blaming the baby … or babies … too much!”, he laughed.

“So go, what is it?”

“Sneezing.”

“Jeez, these big words, my god!”, he laughed.

“But I like the meaning of the first one.”, he said pulling me close and kissing me passionately and for just under an hour we began a gustation of each other’s mouths.

 

In response to Linda’s prompt:

 

https://lindaghill.com/2018/08/10/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-11-18/

 

Road Trip With Michael

 

My mate Michael was panicking more than I was!

“Michael, Al’s number is in my phone. Call him when they take me in.”

Michael was currently driving me to the hospital after my waters broke while he was over at our house.

“Why is he doing overtime today of all days?!”, he mumbled.

“Money for the baby or babies.”, I replied between breathing exercises.

“Oh god, are you OK?”

“Fine! Now just keep your eyes on the road mate!”

“I am, I am … jesus.”

We arrive at the hospital and Michael, sweat-covered, helps me over to the doctor.

“My mate is going to give birth.”, Michael says urgently.

“And where’s your mate?”, the doctor says.

Michael raises an eyebrow.

“Beside me.”

The doctor’s face turns smug and they smile.

“Now come on lads, we’ve got numerous cases, serious cases here, women really giving birth …”

“But he is giving birth …”, Michael begins.

“I’d like you both to leave the car park immediately or I’ll have to call security.”

At this stage I’ve had it up to here with pain and this underqualified douchebag is getting on my nerves.

“I’m fucking trans!”, I shout.

 

“I got here as soon as I could babe!”, Alan said, rushing into my room.

“They wouldn’t let me in. Thought I was a nutter when I said my husband was in labour.”, he said, taking my hand.

“It’s OK, it’s a weird hospital honey … did you see them?”

He smiled.

“Through the window of the incubator room. They both look so adorable. And small.”

“Yeah, I thought that too. Thought something was wrong. They assured me everything was alright. Then I fell asleep.”

“They told me you were resting so I nipped down the shops and got you a few things in. Diet Coke, couple of magazines. You need to relax. You’ve just popped two sprogs out.”

From the look on his face I could tell that he was very proud of that fact.

 

In response to Linda’s prompt:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/08/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-4-18/

 

 

Coming Home

 

“So yeah, they forgot the T in LGBTQ+ again.”, I moaned when we reached our kitchen.

“I never forget the T in it or the other tea in fact either. I’ll pop on the kettle Nicky.”

We sat down with our two newborns Morgan and Eden. We picked two gender neutral names and were raising them both non-binary. When they were older they could decide but for now that seemed the most normal thing to do.

I held Eden in my arms feeding them their bottle while Al held Morgan and was feeding them their bottle. And we waited for the tea to boil.

 

In response to Linda’s prompt:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/07/27/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-28-18/

 

 

Heart

 

Sometimes I just go into the nursery and watch my two babies sleeping. Most of the time they can be “noisy little sprogs” as Al says but sometimes they are calm and peaceful giving their Daddies a moment’s peace. Watching the beating of their little hearts always makes my own heart swell up with joy and pride. I get it now when people say it’s the little moments in life …

 

Al comes up behind me and wraps his arms around me.

“They are out like a log.”, he says, smiling softly.

“For now!”, I laugh, gently so as not to wake them.

And I look back down at their sleeping little frames and think the most important organ is the heart.

I think to myself,

I will always protect you two little Rugrats. Never be ashamed of who you are for one moment like my own Dad was. You two are my world, in my heart always and if anyone tries to harm either of you they’ll have me and Al to deal with. And unlike your sweet little hearts and faces, it won’t be pretty.

In response to Linda’s prompt:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/07/20/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-21-18/

 

 

Work Call

 

I was back at work after giving birth. Duties here seemed easy after that marathon! Later on Michael was set to babysit Morgan and Eden. So me and Al had a romantic meal planned at the new restaurant down the road from our house. It was called Elm Bay. Two three letter words so a nice snappy title that was easy to remember when anyone asked if I had plans for the weekend.

The phone rings.

“Hello, Millerfield’s Information Centre, how can I help you?”

“Is that Nicholas there?”

I grin.

“Is that Alan from sales? What can we do for you?”

“Nothing much. I was just wondering if you could check a few things out for me …”

No one’s around so I decide to play along.

“I believe it shouldn’t be too much trouble …”

“No?”

“It would be my pleasure to help you out in any way I can Sir.”

“Well you see Nicholas, may I call you Nick or Nicky?”

“I’m afraid that’s against company rules Sir?”

“Call me Al or is that against company rules too?”

“The customer’s always right Al.”, I laughed.

“What are you wearing?”, he teased, seductively.

“Oh Sir, that’s definitely against company rules!”

“What? To wear clothes Nicholas? Your company sounds fun!”

Jim from accounts came down the stairs.

“Well I shall deal with your enquiry straightaway.”

Al took the hint.

“OK, talk to you later babe.”

“Bye.”

“Busy?”, Jim smiled.

“Oh, an odd phone call here and there.”, I grinned.

 

In response to Linda’s prompt:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/07/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-14-18/

 

 

Elm Bay

 

“A late supper.”, I smiled to Al as we sat down to have our meal at Elm Bay.

“Hope it ain’t too expensive.”, I added, picking up the menu.

“Do me a favour tonight?”

“What?”

“Stop worrying about money. We don’t get out much lately.”

“OK, OK.”, I smiled.

We ordered in our meals. Two beef dishes with all the trimmings. When we had finished, Al said with a wink,

“Let’s skip desert.”

I laughed.

“You always wanted to say that, haven’t you?”

“Pretty much.”, he grinned.

But we had chocolate fudge cake and then went for a later desert of each other’s bodies in the alleyway. The most daring thing I ‘d ever done. Somehow doubt it was the most daring thing Al had! But it was super fun indeed!

 

In response to Linda’s prompt:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/07/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-7-18/

 

Friday Fictioneers: Night Out

PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

 

Night Out

 

It was the morning after the night before. Lana and Shannon had been out for a few drinks. As always when drinking the two sisters finished their twenty cigarettes from earlier in the day and got more in the machine. Waking up, heads full of thunder, they made some coffee to bring them back and laughed about the vase of lighters they had amassed over the years when they would forget to bring one. Both planned to quit but both were hooked. Shannon felt Lana had a better chance of doing so as she’d started smoking later. Maybe one day.

 

My book Black Coat based on a previous Friday Fictioneers prompt is available at:

 

For Friday Fictioneers Writing Prompt. Check out the website at:

https://rochellewisoff.com/

6 Flash Fiction Challenges: Brothers: 99 Word Prompts – Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Catching up on the Carrot Ranch Literary Community writing prompts. I have made them into a continuous story all together called Brothers. Hope you find them good reads everyone! 🙂

 

Brothers

 

Saying Goodbye

 

Image result for cremated ashes in the air

 

It was afternoon. My brother Emment and I were making our way through the woods. We arrived at the spot where our Mum used to come. Emment released her ashes into the air and tears flowed down our cheeks. As our Mum always said, it took a real man to cry.

 

Peering from the woods we could see the main road. Emment wheeled me out of the woods and we started the long journey to surviving grief. Just the two of us.

 

We both looked back at her lake once more before moving on. Into the unknown out there.

 

In response to Charli’s prompt:

 

https://carrotranch.com/2018/08/09/august-9-flash-fiction-challenge/

 

 

Ghosts

 

Image result for ghosts

 

When Emment and I were young, we used to go camping with our Dad. When he was around. Which was rare. There used to be a yellow tent. A shabby cheap one. No sunshine brought into his sons’ lives. Dad moved on forever to the other side of the world when I was eight. Emment was ten. On the eve of his leaving we mark it by burning a yellow tent.

Today will be the last ritual. It’s best to leave ghosts in the past. Come to think of it, he was always really a ghost in our lives.

 

In response to Charli’s prompt:

 

https://carrotranch.com/2018/08/03/august-2-flash-fiction-challenge/

 

 

Mr. Handsome

 

Image result for cigarette drawing

 

“Where is your suitcase?”, I asked Emment.
“I don’t know. I was sure I left it just beside me Tom.”
“There’s money and cards in it …”
“I know! I’m looking!”
We were on our first holiday together since Mum’s passing. And Emment had went off to the deck of the boat to have a cigarette and lost his case.
“I was talking to this hot guy and …”
“Hold on … now I see it all. Well clearly Mr. Handsome has it!”
“But he was nice …”
“Thank god you hadn’t my case with you! We might actually get home!”, I sighed.

 

In response to Charli’s prompt:

 

https://carrotranch.com/2018/07/27/july-26-flash-fiction-challenge/

 

 

 

Impressing Samantha

 

Related image

 

I didn’t believe in legends. Samantha did so I faked superb interest. I was currently reading a book on Fanny Hooe. The worse about being disabled from the neck down is that I had to ask Emment to prop the book up for me and turn the pages. Now he’s taking the piss.
“She’s a professor at your college, twenty years old than you …”
“Fifteen.”, I corrected.
“You have no chance!”, he said, turning the page.
“Like you and Mr. Handsome!”, I laughed.
“That was a moment of madness! You and Samantha is four years of madness!”, he laughed.

 

In response to Charli’s prompt:

 

https://carrotranch.com/2018/07/19/july-19-flash-fiction-challenge/

 

 

Broken Fences & Beers

 

 

Image result for broken fence drawing

 

“Put your back into it!”, I smiled to Emment who was fixing the broken fence in our front yard.
The house was left to our Mum from her Mum and passed on to us. This was our first broken fence though we had a few light bulbs that had died too.

After it’s fixed, we hang out in the garden, have a beer and a cigarette. Laughing, relaxing.
“So how’s Darren?”, I enquire about his new boyfriend.
“Early days but he’s nice.”
“I’ll have to meet him soon.
The fence comes down.
“What does Darren do for a living?”

 

In response to Charli’s prompt:

 

https://carrotranch.com/2018/07/12/july-12-flash-fiction-challenge/

 

 

 

Out In The Park

 

Image result for park drawing

 

Me, Emment and Darren went for a walk/wheel in the park when Darren, handyman extraordinaire, had fixed our fence.

“Hey.”, said the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.

“Hi sis.”, Darren smiled.

Her name was Laura and she had a tiny dog with her called Buttons. As we moved along I began tell her about little Amy, the dog Emment and I had as a kid while Emment and Darren fed bread to the ducks leaving us to get acquainted while nosing every now and then to see how it was going.

Things were certainly looking up.

 

In response to Charli’s prompt:

 

https://carrotranch.com/2018/07/05/july-5-flash-fiction-challenge/