A Sip of Limonata…

… and A House Near Luccoli

Fruit and book_pe

Besides the folder of music, Donatella carried up a tray of limonata and anise cake, another of Nonna’s suggestions.

“At last.”

She smelled a candle burning, but it didn’t light the short hall. In the main room a window was open, with the settee moved closer to it, Signor Stradella a masterpiece resting there. One dark leg was stretched and falling over the back of the couch, a ruffled hand on its knee; the other bent to the floor and, even without stocking and shoe, appeared ready to walk away. He had also undressed to his shirt still buttoned high and wrinkled softly because it was made of the finest linen. A slight breeze blew his hair over his face. As he realized her burdened entrance, his right shoulder pillowed a half-smile and he reached out lazily.

“Did you bring bavareisa?”

“What’s that?” She clumsily laid the tray down on the gray marble hearth, not wanting to bend with her back to him.

Cioccolata and caffè.”

“We don’t have coffee. It’s too expensive.”

“I’ll pay for it.” He swung into sitting, hunched and rubbing his neck. “I’m getting one of my headaches.”

“It’s the weather.” Donatella offered him a drink.

He accepted it, the tips of his fingers friendlier than they should have been. “A veil over the sun, like a woman at Messa.”

He tasted it. “Ah. Fresco.”

“Squeezed this morning. Nonna says it’s good for clearing the voice.”

Cara Nònna.” He raised his glass, then emptied it with a kiss on its rim. “I’ve heard she was very rebellious. I wonder you didn’t become the same.”

“I wasn’t meant to.”

“How do you know?”

“Because it didn’t happen.” She was still holding the folder.

“I believe that’s why you’ve come?”

He moved slowly to make space on the table where his inventions were layered and sprawled, so many at once. By the time she placed the copy there he was sitting once more, leaning forward, his head in his hands.

“You can let me know.” She felt intrusive. “I’ve never seen you at Maddalena before.”

He rose, admitting his rudeness. “I was testing the sound for a wedding there.”

“It must be a special one.”

“Ah. I’ll make it so.” His teeth showed. “Così.” He leaned over the table, the side of his face long and angled, eyelashes still and mouth taut, the first page flipped for the second, the second for the third, every one after that as unremarkable.

“I’m untrained.”

He looked at the first page again, his index finger, chin, and muted hum following the stanzas. “Ah. You see. Just a little more space here and this note a little higher, the words not quite aligned.”

Her hope of impressing him was gone.

“No, no.” He showed sensitivity to being misunderstood. “Even my last copyist, a priest, cursed my sloppiness.”

“I did my best.”

“Ah. Anyway, there are many arie in the serenata, besides duetti and trii and sinfonie. I need copies of each by—you saw the date; barely a month away. Before that for rehearsal.” He closed the folder, falling back on the settee. “And only so-called musicisti in Genova, too quick or too slow or distracted by ambizione. Will you do more for me?”

She had to consider. His reputation. Her motivation. She couldn’t sign her name to the work, freely spend any payment, or even show some pride. Sneaking around, her aunt would eventually find out and put a stop to it anyway.

“Is that cake?”

“Yes.”

“For the flies?”

“Oh.” She rescued the plate.

He took a slice, eating it almost without chewing. “As we live dangerously opening windows.”

He reached for another, nodding for her to take what was left.

“All right,” she answered.

Bene allora.”

“I mean … I will help you.”

Mangia.”

“Oh, yes.” She broke a corner of the last piece on the plate.

He got up to pour her a glass of limonata, staring as her lips, covered in crumbs, finally took a sip.

From Chapter Five of A House Near Luccoli by DM Denton, published by All Things That Matter Press, available in Print, Kindle, Audio Book and NOOK Book Editions

©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.

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.

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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 – Ghost Writings: Beyond the Obvious

Do you enjoy reading stories with a supernatural flavor?

Here is my 5 star review for …

Ghost Writings: A Ghost Story Guide Deborah Bennison (Editor) and Neil Wilson (Introduction)
Published by Bennison Books

Non-fiction
July 26, 2014

Ghost Writings: Beyond the Obvious

Ghost Writings by D. BennisonThere is much to learn about the essence and evolution of the ghost story in the pages of the unique, precisely conceived and satisfyingly constructed ‘Ghost Writings’. It is not merely a listing of ghost stories and their authors, in this case British. It is rich in information about the genre, with introductory in-depth essays by the ghost story bibliographer, Neil Wilson, who offers fascinating insights into its fairy-tale, folk, religious and occult origins, its variations reflective of fashions and obsessions, and its development through the ‘golden age’ of spiritualism, artistic movements, and physiological, scientific and technological advancements such as radio and film.

Included are brief but tantalizing biographies. Ms. Bennison honors the obvious—masters of the craft like Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker—but, also, reveals “the double life” of literary figures not necessarily associated with the supernatural; one of the most surprising for me being E. Nesbitt, author of ‘The Railway Children’. There are others, great mainstream writers like L.P Hartley and D.H. Lawrence who ventured into other-worldly territory. Ghost Writings clears away the cobwebs from the lives and works of more obscure writers. The long list of female writers, a few well-known to me like Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell and Agatha Christie, insists—as do all the other categories—on being investigated further.

Traveling the ghost story’s journey through time, I felt some regret that its traditional and subtle nature, which inspired “a pleasing terror” (to quote ghost story writer, M.R. James, 1862-1936), has been lost to a pessimistic and continuously violent post WWII world, the modern appetite for speed and sensationalism, and absence of fundamental moral consideration. Contributor, Neil Wilson, admits that in order for the genre to remain vital it must continue to embrace the changes that retain its relevance to the world in which its current readers live. He also acknowledges that the need to “exceed previous levels of sensationalism” drains, depresses and certainly desensitizes perhaps more than is healthy for the genre or its followers—not so unlike what happened towards the end of its Gothic era; after all, the beginning of yet another metamorphosis.

As a writer who has just incorporated a ghostly presence into a novel’s story line, I know how difficult it is to achieve with finesse and credibility. All the more reason I found this book engrossing and important. Ms. Bennison’s obvious passion for the subject and skilled editing and compilation effortlessly achieves her aim of enticing readers into exploring the ghost story through all its stages, possibilities and impossibilities; and, most importantly, far beyond the obvious.

Ghost Writings for Kindle: massive price drop for 7 days

to celebrate new paperback version

Click here to go to Ghost Writings at amazon.uk.

Ghost Writings Back Cover

 

 Hope you will take advantage of the great deal for the next few days on the kindle version, or why not purchase the brand new paperback version!

Also, check out Bennison Book’s other publications

And now I fade into the vapors of the electronic world
(and, perhaps, more than a few centuries ago) …

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

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.

Free Kindle Download ‘The Snow White Gift’!

Just to let everyone know that my illustrated Holiday Kindle-Short,

The Snow White Gift,

can be downloaded FREE TODAY, November 29th!

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 for Christmas results in disappointment but eventually confirms that love and patience can work magic.









Thank you to Christine, Ina and Francina for their kind reviews of the story:


Whatever Diane Denton writes, she simply draws the reader all the way in and invites him/her to be right there in the midst of the story, and this delightful heartwarming short story, The Snow White Gift, is no exception. Diane’s writing is warm, gentle and beautifully descriptive. Her books are simply a delight to be with and are very difficult to put down; she leaves the reader wanting more and more.
Christine Moran, journeyintopoetry

In this lovely Christmas story, all revolves around giving and the true value of kindness. Diane’s writing, with every detail vivid and adding to the surprising plot, is always a joy to read.
Ina Schroders-Zeeders, inaweblogisback

The Snow White Gift by Diane Denton is a compelling, moving , touching and beautiful fictional short story set around Christmas in Depression-weary times. Personally I think this is a story everyone should read for its all about the art of giving.  Unconditional giving, from the heart without asking anything back in return. Willing to set our own wishes aside to be able to give to another person.  I can highly recommend this wondrous and excellent written story to you! I read all the pages in one breath.
Francina Hartstra, Seasonspoetry



I hope you will accept this little gift from

All Things That Matter Press and myself

and enjoy!

Check out other All Things That Matter Press Kindle Shorts available FREE TODAY!

And if you come to this post after November 29th, The Snow White Gift and all

All Things That Matter Press Kindle-Shorts are only $.99!

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Reminder: if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can download to your computer, smartphone or tablet. Get the FREE Kindle app .

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.

Repost: Thanks Given

Copyright 2012 by Diane’s Mom, June

Snapdragons still bloom

wintery chills loom

pumpkins for taking

pies in the making

sunshine falls brightly

forgotten nightly

shadows stretch designs

all nature resigns

arresting in growth

a mutual oath

leaves fallen in faith

barrenness awaits

beyond the ending

hope is transcending.

Thanks are now given

 for earth and heaven.

Note: The painting was done by my mom, June, on a  ceramic tile and is part of our autumn decorations.

Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends and Blessings to all!

And as a special thank you, my new holiday short story,

 The Snow White Gift

is available on Kindle for FREE download

this Friday, November 29th!

©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.

Win an E-Book Copy of A House Near Luccoli

A Novel of Musical Intimacy & Intrigue in 17th century Genoa

A novel of musical intrigue & intimacy in 17th century Genoa

I wanted to give my blog followers and visitors a chance to win a KINDLE or NOOK Book copy of my literary Historical Fiction, A House Near Luccoli.

All you have to do is LIKE the Facebook Page and you will be entered into a drawing. If the page reaches the next milestone of 250 LIKES, there will be two lucky winners!

If you already have a copy of the novel – and with the Holiday Season fast approaching – remember Kindle and NOOK Books may be given as gifts.

Thanks in advance and GOOD LUCK!

And thank you to those who have already supported me in this way – and a friendly reminder that if you have read the novel and haven’t written a review for it, I would really appreciate if you could post one on Amazon, Goodreads (if you are a member), and at barnesandnoble.com. Reviews really help a book’s exposure.

Old View of Genoa, where A House Near Luccoli takes place.

Old View of Genoa, where A House Near Luccoli takes place.

Happy Halloween!

Copyright 2012 by Diane's Mom, June

Copyright 2012 by Diane’s Mom, June