Intro: this is a good mix of the things I aim for in my mini stories – it’s relatable at first, then gets something random and improbable thrown in. It is a little too long at over 800 words, but from the mini stories I’ve written in the last week I think it’s a good first post.
I knew I needed sun. I needed that deep-reaching heat to penetrate my chest and that cough. I moved outside and dragged a chair to the full morning sunshine, only for the winter breeze to pick up. Any heat I could possibly gain was stripped by the cold wind and I resigned myself to the confines of the house.
Rugged up in my dressing gown with a bottle of water in hand, I wandered about to find a window that had direct light. I found one in the second bedroom and completely gave in, lying on the floor curled up to fit inside the rectangle of light. I dozed there for a while, before waking up and having to shimmy across to where the sun had moved. Just like a cat. I never liked cats.
Eventually I got hungry, and that meant I also got queasy. I rolled onto all fours and gradually raised my head as quickly as my destabilised senses allowed. I was reluctant to leave the sun, but needed sustenance and consoled myself with the expectation of hot food. I decided on a can of spaghetti and a cup of tea. I was so grateful for the warmth that filled me up inside I just crawled back into bed and fell asleep.
This is a new blog post from Random House Australia. There’s not necessarily any new advice here, but everything listed is worth keeping in mind. Especially since the advice is from Random House’s Selina Walker (apparently a massively important editor who launched Fifty Shades of Grey, so yeah, I’ll take her advice).
Actually the first point is a good one: have a good title and a strong first chapter. So easy to forget sometimes. It’s so easy just to ‘write your way through the story’ instead. I usually have to rearrange and edit the first bit to make the first chapter exciting and not just ‘setting everything up’.
The Cats in Trouble Mysteries #5
Book Length: 281 pages
Time to Read: Approximately one and a half weeks of easy reading.
Genre: Cozy Mystery.
Age Group: Adult.
According to the Blurb on the Back:
When cat lover and quilter Jillian Hart volunteers to help a local animal shelter relocate a large colony of feral cats living in an abandoned textile mill, she never expects to find a woman living there as well. Jeannie went missing from Mercy, South Carolina, a decade ago, after her own daughter’s disappearance. Folks believed she’d left in search of her runaway daughter, but she’s been hiding in the mill all this time.
Jeannie refuses to leave the mill or abandon her cat, Boots – who died years ago. After all, her job is to protect the premises from “creepers” who come in the night. After Jeannie is taken out on a stretcher following an accident, a body is found concealed in the mill’s old fireplace. As the wheels start turning in Jillian’s mind, she is aided in unearthing a long-kept dark secret by a mysterious new feline friend.
You know how people talk about curling up with a good book? For me, this was that book.
I read cozy mysteries every now and then and this was the first book of the series I read, even though it’s actually book number 5 in the series. That fact didn’t matter at all – I was able to jump right in without any prior knowledge and the story and characters just all flowed wonderfully. It was a comforting, encouraging read.
I really liked Leann Sweeney’s lightly educational description of the American south and the textiles industry’s impact on the lives of many locals. Wow that sentence sounded like the teacher-me talking… and maybe it sounded like a bit a of plug. But I honestly just really liked this book! And I know ‘educational’ is an ugly word but I really did learnt a bit about the history of the south and was glad for it. The environment she created in the small town of Mercy was detailed without being trite. None of the characters over-stayed their welcome… well, except for Lydia who I believe to be an antagonist for the sake of having an antagonist. But she is a very minor flaw in a very enjoyable read.
And you know what? I don’t even like cats. That’s how good this cozy mystery is. Thumbs up.