Some Feline Understanding

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

For National Cat Day (10/29/16):

Where is it? I asked,
that gift I gave you,
perfect for your imagination
and paws to throw around.

For days it’s been missed,
not missing;
your eyes playing with
my questioning
like fate
hiding what it has in store.

But, really.
Do you understand what I’m asking?

It seems so, when
you deliver
all that I wish for,
laid at my feet—
as instinctively
knowing to leave me to
my wonder
and that it’s time to
take a nap.

Play-N-Squeak-Play-N-Squeak-Mouse-Hunter-Cat-Toy







 

 

Cats are always present for me, including in my prose writing: novels and short stories. Here are some samples:

 

Signor Stradella enjoyed a bowl of broth as though he had never eaten at a better table, laughing at Golone’s drooling, and breaking off a steamy piece of bread, complementing Cook with his mouth full. He was amused, not unkindly, when Despina, leaving, almost tripped over the cats who had decided the kitchen was where they should be. They rubbed the men’s legs, as enticing as enticed by oyster stock that eventually found a second table on the floor.
~ from A House Near Luccoli

 

She reached for the eiderdown to wrap herself in, Bianchi whimpering and darting under the bed, Caprice leaping onto it to catch the unseen. They were expected to be a little crazy, even magical, conjuring a great life out of a small one. When they slept, their whiskers and eyelids quivered for their wildest dreams. Were they back in Genoa, too, in Nonna’s darkened room and big chair where falling asleep was required? Or wandering down to the kitchen so Cook would scold and then reward them? Or, as their legs extended, sneaking up towards what was off-limits but inviting, were their thoughts about how they escaped but never got away? Would they wake to the confusion of why bells weren’t ringing from every direction and the sea wasn’t close by? Did they miss not knowing what was beyond the window, the view of the street, or smell of the bay?

No, they just stretched and yawned and accepted that all they ever needed had come with them.
~ from To A Strange Somewhere Fled

 

One or more cats might defy exclusion from the parlor, a little nuzzle pushing its door already open a crack to allow them access to whoever welcomed their leg rubbing or not. Rose did, especially once the reading was done, bowing to escape any reaction rather than acknowledge it. Gathering them up was a reason to crumple to the floor without seeming to faint or rudely reveal her relief. Taking them out was a way to escape before she might be asked to recite more or even sing, and disappear until no one expected to see her again that evening.
~ from The Library Next Door

Illustration for Kindle Short Story: The Library Next Door

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

 

Maudy excused herself to baste the ham and continue what was left of the Christmas she had planned. She didn’t say anything about needing to be alone, which she wasn’t for long. A kitten had slipped into the house and then the kitchen, interrupting Maudy’s self-pitying for a little canned tuna and place on her lap to curl gratefully.
~from The Snow White Gift

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

 

 

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

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Saturday Historical Novelist Interview with DM Denton

I want to thank Christoph Fischer for interviewing me on his blog today. He offered some excellent questions, which made it fun and satisfying to do. Christoph is a fine author himself, and such a generous supporter of other writers. His blog features interviews, reviews, and other articles about his own work and passions, too. Hope you will go over and have a look.

writerchristophfischer

DM Denton Profile Pic 1Today I have the pleasure of introducing Historical Novelist DM Denton. Welcome to my blog, please tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and the first time you did?

I recall that as a child loving to read I also knew I wanted to write. Initially, it was an escape for me like reading was and a perfect pursuit for my introverted personality. My mother talks of my first poem, when I was seven or eight, in response to the family being together at Thanksgiving. I’m sure it wasn’t the first, the others probably well-hidden or destroyed. Actually, I can’t remember not writing—closed boxes and folders of yellowing, curling paper and hopeful half-filled journals can attest to that. All through my growing up I preferred alone time imagining characters and stories to any other activity.

Tell us about the concepts behind your…

View original post 1,634 more words

My Gift to You: A Story of Sacrifice and Pure Intent

The Snow White Gift Scroll and image with text.jpg_pe Text and ornament highlighted FB Header sized 1

In the tradition of O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi, The Snow White Gift is a short story published by All Things That Matter Press, set in 1930s Chicago, based on a childhood memory of my mother’s.

It can be read in an hour or so. Perhaps, you will consider it as a last minute gift for someone on your list … or even yourself when you might need a little escape and quiet time in the busyness of these days.

If you have Kindle Unlimited it is free to you!
Otherwise, it is only $.99

What better gift for the holidays and all year around than a charming story of an old-fashioned doll, a Nanny, a kindly aunt, and a little girl? Only the talented writing skills of author DM Denton could make this tale of hardship and disappointments during the Depression years into something that will touch the hearts of children and adults of all ages.
~
Review on amazon by Micki Peluso, author of And the Whippoorwill Sang

If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited, I would love to give you a copy!
If you would like to receive it
let me know in the comments below.

If you’ve read it already, your free copy could be given to someone else – a re-gifting I would fully endorse!

I hope, one way or other, you will take this opportunity to read this story for free … just bring your innocence and imagination and heart … and love for the little things that mean so much.

Read a sample here.

Come on! Why hesitate? There’s no obligation, except for you or someone you love to put up your/her/his feet for an hour or so and enjoy a little story that confirms love and patience can work magic.

As can the healing, wisdom, and playfulness of flowers!

A Friendship with Flowers 2016 Calendar is now available
from lulu.com for $12.99.

A Friendship with Flowers Calendar Cover-page0001 (2)_pe

 

Blessings to you and yours on the Winter Solstice

and

during this Holiday Season!

 

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

 

 

Review of ‘Covenant, A Story of Friendship’ by Mary Clark

5.0 out of 5 stars

A Story in the Moment of Fundamental Change by DM Denton

51qEtH4PMAL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX324_SY324_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA346_SH20_OU01_Covenant. An agreement between parties that is binding like a contract. It’s one of the metaphors used in the Christian and Jewish traditions regarding God’s relationship with and expectation of humankind. In a secular sense it can suggest a collective upholding of certain principals and beliefs—a ritual, even religious pledge and expectation of allegiance to a common, even exalted purpose.

In the bible, Covenant and Testament are used interchangeably. Mary Clark’s Covenant is a testament to how relationships form, flourish, are tested, fall apart, and, if they run deep enough, endure.

As the lives of three youths growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s on Florida’s Gulf Coast intersect, promises are made sub-consciously, at times devoutly. Commonality occurs because of being a certain age in a particular time and place, of sharing amusements, music, uncertainty and wonder, loss and discovery. Loyalty is the maturing of friendship seeded in companionship, threatened by struggle and change, and nurtured by empathy and necessity. Mary Clark’s nostalgic and sensitive offering of their story starts small, out of the inconspicuous, but grows larger and larger in its awareness of the world around them, paralleling very personal events with those that affect their country and the world. These were times I lived through—the civil rights movement, the cold war, JFK’s assassination—and, so, reminded me of how as a child my actual and imaginative life was affected by the decisions and actions of adults. Not always negatively, as one particular scene highlights. When Orchie sees a white man hit a black man who has walked onto a segregated beach and the white man is arrested, she experiences “…the thrill of being in the moment of fundamental change.” I can remember that feeling so well.

The story of Orchie, Red and Bobby is soothing and stark, amusing and disquieting, individualistic and altruistic as it reflects through hours, days, months and years. Mary Clark’s writing is eloquent, even as she ‘speaks’ of poverty and violence, devastation and betrayal. It is word-rich with beautiful sensory descriptions that set the scenes—the woods, the swamps, the beaches, the small town— where the young people spend their time; a blend of raw reality and dreaminess that moves the narrative beyond the simple alliance of children to an agreement that requires them to look into their consciences and hearts.

Read review on Goodreads.

Read review on Amazon.

Covenant is available in Kindle edition.

Visit Mary Clark’s Amazon Page.

Visit Mary Clark’s Blog

Read my review of Tally: An Intuitive Life by Mary Clark, published by All Things That Matter Press. Highly Recommended!

 

Guest Post: Marina Julia Neary – Meet My Main Character Blog Tour

Marina Julia Neary was one of the authors I tagged for the “Meet My Main Character” blog tour I participated in last week. If you haven’t already, you can read my post here.

As Marina doesn’t have her own blog at this time, I’m happy to host her post on mine.

Purple2In breaking a little from the rules for this blog tour, Marina will be ‘talking’ about the main character of her recently released novel,  Never Be At Peace, published by Fireship Press. It is a companion piece to Martyrs and Traitors  published by All Things That Matter Press in  2011. You can read my review here. I’m certainly looking forward to reading her new one!

Here’s a synopsis:

Never Be At Peace by Marina Julia Neary

Never Be At Peace by Marina Julia Neary

A pugnacious orphan from a bleak Dublin suburb, Helena Molony dreams of liberating Ireland. Her fantasies take shape when the indomitable Maud Gonne informally adopts her and sets her on a path to theatrical stardom – and political martyrdom. Swept up in the Gaelic Revival, Helena succumbs to the romantic advances of Bulmer Hobson, an egotistical Fenian leader with a talent for turning friends into enemies. After their affair ends in a bitter ideological rift, she turns to Sean Connolly, a married fellow-actor from the Abbey Theatre, a man idolised in the nationalist circles. As Ireland prepares to strike against the British rule on Easter Monday, Helena and her comrades find themselves caught in a whirlwind of deceit, violence, broken alliances and questionable sacrifices. In the words of Patrick Pearse, “Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”. For the survivors of the Rising, the battle will continue for decades after the last shot had been fired.

Some early reviews:

“M. J. Neary’s Never Be at Peace is a gripping and intense tale of Ireland in the thick of revolution. Told from the perspectives of the brave and uncompromising men and women involved in the fight for independence, it will delight fans of women’s history and Irish history. Meticulously researched and boldly-written, Never Be at Peace is a masterful story that breathes life Edwardian Ireland and illuminates the hearts and minds of these unforgettable Irish patriots.” –Evangeline Holland, Edwardian Promenade

Sean Connolly's Death

© Drawing By Alissa Mendenhall

“Neary’s Helena Molony is a storm of a character who comes to life along with a cast of the giants of early 20th century Ireland. Helena’s story will stick with you long after you turn the last page.” –Meghan Walsh, The Recorder, The Journal of the American Irish Historical Society

And Marina’s answers to the questions about the novel’s main character.

What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
Helena Molony, 1884-1967. She is very much a real historical person.

When and where is the story set?
Ireland, early 20th century.  The novel spans World War I, the Easter Rising of 1916, the War of Irish Independence, the subsequent Irish Civil War, and finally, World War II.  It’s heavy on military history, light on bodice-ripping.

What should we know about him/her?
She is a spunky dreamer from a bleak Dublin suburb.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
There are several conflicts.  One is them is obvious, Anglo-Irish.  But I also wanted to focus on the conflict within the ranks of Irish revolutionaries.

What is the personal goal of the character?
Helena’s goal is to rebuild the romantic, heroic, liberated Ireland of her dreams.  The quest for independence goes horribly wrong, and the result is not quite what the heroine had envisioned. Heartbroken and disillusioned, she spirals into alcoholism and self-destruction.

What is the title of this novel, and can we read more about it?
The title is Never Be at Peace, and it’s inspired by Patrick Pearse’s graveside speech in 1915, “Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”

When can we expect the book to be published? 
The novel was recently released through Fireship Press.

Here’s a wonderful interview with Marina about Never Be At Peace, which she did for the Historical Fiction Research Blogspot. You can find her on Facebook here.

Thank you, Marina, for participating in this blog tour.

And may I remind you:
I am offering a Giveway of my Kindle Short Stories
or an autographed copy of my novel, A House Near Luccoli.
You can read the details in my previous post of May 10th!

I’m living in hope of getting some takers! 🙂

 

Mother’s Day Giveaway

In honor of Mother’s Day here in the US (Sunday, May 11th), I’m celebrating my deep love and appreciation of my mom and ‘her stories’ by offering a giveaway!

My recently published (by All Things That Matter Press) illustrated kindle shorts – The Snow White Gift and The Library Next Door – are both based on real events in my mother’s life.

For those who have already read and reviewed, thank you so much.
You can read what they thought here and here.

For those who haven’t yet read them,

I would like to give away up to five copies of each!

All you have to do is leave a comment stating that you are willing to read one or both and post a review on Amazon (and Goodreads, if you are a member). Yes, you may receive both if you will write a review for both! These stories are about 17 pages each.

Remember, you don’t need a Kindle device to read them. You can download an app (for smartphones, tablets and computers) here.

 

The Library Next Door

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

Books were Rose’s secrets. Reading was an easy distraction, friend to her curiosity and the only thing she was sure she wanted to do. When she entered the library next door, what was real and imaginary became indistinguishable, and she grew ready to reveal the future of her relationship with the written word. 

ATTMP Scroll Cover

 

 

The Snow White Gift

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

In Depression-weary times, a little girl’s wish for a special doll touches a stoic heart. Through sacrifice and pure intent, giving her what she wants results in disappointment but eventually confirms that love and patience can work magic.

ATTMP Holiday Short Image

Please leave a comment to this post stating that you would like to receive the free kindle short(s) and are willing to review. Also, fill out the contact form below with an email address where you would like the link(s) for downloading the stories sent to.

Front Cover of A House Near LuccoliFor anyone who misses out on this giveaway: to the first person who purchases, reads and reviews these two kindle shorts, I will offer a free autographed copy of my novel, A House Near Luccoli (or a Kindle or Book Nook version, if you prefer). Please submit your email through the contact form. When the reviews of the Kindle-shorts are posted on Amazon (and Goodreads, if you are a member), I will contact you regarding your free copy of my novel.

Looking forward to passing these stories
onto some wonderful readers!

Vase of Flowers by Diane's Mom, June, Copyright © 2014

Vase of Flowers by Diane’s Mom, June – Copyright © 2014

 

 

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

The Library Next Door

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

Books were Rose’s secrets. Reading was an easy distraction, friend to her curiosity and the only thing she was sure she wanted to do. When she entered the library next door, what was real and imaginary became indistinguishable, and she grew ready to reveal the future of her relationship with the written word.

My illustrated All Things That Matter Press Kindle-short, The Library Next Door, is now available! Only $1.99 to download. (£1.25 on amazon.uk).

ATTMP Scroll Cover

Find it on amazon.uk.

Here’s a little teaser:

Rose preferred private reading. It was an escape from her sisters’ bickering and her mother’s worries, achieved without purpose and self-consciousness; encouraging all the things she had been told to avoid like hunching her shoulders, crossing her legs, crooking her neck and straining her eyes.

Less clothing and her hair loose or in a braid improved the experience, so reading in bed was ideal, especially with a fine morning’s light spraying over the pages.  

Once in a while she thought about being a writer. She had the imagination for it even if she wasn’t educated or confident enough. Like Emily Dickinson, she hadn’t seen a moor or the sea, but knew the purple sparkle of heather and how waves swelled and swallowed the horizon. She was fond of imagery and long passages of pastoral descriptions, but less so of dialogue unless it was uncommonly interesting. Turning a page was like turning her brother’s desk globe; in a moment and without much effort she was on the other side of the world. Or peering into the eyepiece of his microscope she might view what would otherwise be invisible to her.

Reading silently was reading secretively, dreamily, self-centeredly, like listening to gossip and keeping it to herself. © 2014 by DM Denton

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Remember, you don’t have to have a kindle device to read kindle publications. You can download the app for your Android phone or tablet, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows 8 PC or tablet, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone.

I hope many of you will read it, and review it. And that the illustration will warm those of you who have been dealing with a frigid and sometimes wild winter so far – a little reminder of summer roses and soothing pastimes.

I must add an apology for being absent from so many of your blogs for a while. I hope to pay you a visit as soon as possible.

Thank you to All Things That Matter Press for their willingness and work in publishing this story, and to D. Bennison of Bennison Books for her encouragement and advice!

Keep warm and safe! Blessings.