The words weren’t coming out of Lurleen’s pen onto her purple spiral notebook with college ruled pages. She’d come in early on Tuesday, knowing that it would be slow until after seven, and she would have some writing time. Now she had time, but no words. She couldn’t bear to write down the mundane things that happened in her life, her divorce, her family’s redneck crudities, even the small dramas of the bar that sometimes ended in bloodshed. That was too real. She wanted to escape into another world, one that made more sense, where the good guys looked different from the bad guys.
She despaired, until she thought she saw someone walk through the wall of the Café O’Lay.
Lurleen stared at the wall at the corner of the bar near the bathrooms, where the old projector room had been when the café had been the concession stand at the drive-in, back when Lurleen was a little girl. It was a plain cinderblock wall, many times painted but showing every impact of bullet, chair and redneck skull. The woman had walked right through it, just like it was a beaded curtain.
The woman was chubby, dressed garb like a cross between an ancient hippie and a lingerie counter at the Salvation Army, complete with dragonfly wings that vibrated and buzzed every few seconds. Fifty-something with some wrinkles short salt and pepper hair, she could have been anyone’s old maid aunt.
“While you are deciding what you want to wish for, ” she said, “You can get me a beer. Draft. Domestic is fine.”
Lurleen’s professional manner kicked in while her brain refused to process what was going on. She grabbed a mug, filled it and handed it over. “Want a tab?”
The fairy didn’t answer at once. She was too busy sucking down the beer. When she came up for air, she said, “Sure. Now about that wish. You only get one, so think carefully. Wish for what you really want.”
Maybe I’m asleep, or this is some kind of flashback, Lurleen thought. She’d been heavy into the drug scene in college, but that was years ago. She didn’t even drink now, not even coffee, coke or sweet tea. She ran cold water over her hands at the sink and dabbed a damp towel over her face, not to get her makeup wet. She put out of her mind whatever she thought she’d seen.
The fairy quaffed the rest of her beer and held out the mug for more.
“Did you miss a turn on the interstate? The Renfaire is on the other side of Greenville. ” Lurleen took the mug and filled it back up, though she had a premonition that the beer would never be paid for, not even in fairy gold.
What do you mean telling people I am manipulative? I most certainly am not. I do offer my considered advice, but people take it on their own, or to their sorrow, they don’t. I cannot make anyone do anything, any more than you can, you silly author.
So what if I did put it into Panya’s mind that she might drown the poor, misbegotten waif to better comfort the miller in his grief over losing his wife. He would surely have thought that the water monster had taken the child when she abandoned him.
Well, of course the fish abandoned him when her red hat was taken. She could not stay above water without it, and it would be foolish to drown in the air. She is sensible for a fish. And what mother, piscine though she might be, would not take her child? Leaving the child behind was not acceptable. She is no sort of decent mother. What if she does wail along the river at night? It is no concern of mine. It was an indecent marriage.
What do you mean, the child can’t breathe water? Well, due to her parentage, she has the worst of both worlds. Have you seen the webs between her toes? It’s disgusting, but she must have her feet to manage things—can’t hide those toes with decent socks or shoes, only those clogs she wears.
Yes, the first time she came here, she still had her hands, and she was so sweet, a lovely, golden-haired child, barely out of toddlerhood. The fish was clearly a bad mother, as she let this child out of her sight where she might fall into the millworks or into the pond at any moment.
I didn’t realize who she was until she came visiting that first time, and we found her asleep in the cub’s bed, sucking her webbed thumb. But Cobb fell in love with her at first sight, and when her mother abandoned her, it was simple to let her come here for comfort. Her.father had certainly gone off the deep end. I’ve hoped that she and Cobb would live here with me and take care of me in my old age.
Told from both third-person about secondary characters and from Jude’s first-person voice, the story has an eerie sense that Jude’s spirit knows all, but only reveals what she knows she waits for the birth of the healthy child growing within her. How she fell from the bluff, who called 911, how she became pregnant, and who fathered the child are the mysteries that drive this tale. Jude is the focus of the whole village, and her fate rests entirely in their hands, while she comes to terms, both physically and metaphysically, with the consequences of her choices. Redemption is the best anyone in this story can hope for through the legal and ethical issues of what will happen to Jude’s body once the child is born.
Well-written and intriguing, it’s too dark for my taste. If you like a light, fun read, this is not for you. But if you want to question your own beliefs about the present life and the afterlife, you should read this.
About the author: Lenore Skomal wants you to eat her books. Her passionate desire is to touch your heart, inspire you, and luxuriate in the world of the written word. She is an award-winning author with the single goal of resonating with others. Winner of multiple awards for blogging, literature, biography and humor, her catalogue spans many genres. With 30 years of writing experience, 18 books published, a daily blog and weekly newspaper column, the consistent themes in her work are the big issues of the human experience and adding depth and voice to the intricacies involved in living a multi-dimensional existence. She has won many Society of Professional Journalist awards, the Whidbey Island Writer’s Conference honorable mention for best fiction, Writer’s Digest 73rd Annual Fiction Contest, New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens 2003, and most recently, the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award for humor for “Burnt Toast.,” her first anthology of her award winning humor columns. From journalism, to literary fiction, to humor and biography, her writing is consistent, if not in genre, then in message.
Get Bluff on Amazon.
Full Moon Bites has organized a blog tour for me, though I am a bit late posting it. Follow along to read interviews, reviews and get a chance at a free tarot reading.
Dec. 10th- Identity Discovery (Review)
Dec. 11th- The Insane Writings of a Crazed Writer (Interview)
Dec. 12th- I am, indeed (Review/Giveaway)
Dec. 13th- Musings of a Writing Reader (Review)
Dec. 14th- Juniper Grove (Interview/Giveaway)
Dec. 15th- Waiting on Sunday to Drown (Book Review/Giveaway)
Dec. 16th- 1889 Labs (Guest Post)
Dec. 17th- The Book Maven (Review/Interview)
Dec. 18th- Paranormal Romance Fans For Life (Guest Post)
Dec. 19th- Crazy Four Books (Review)
Dec. 20th- My Seryniti (Review)
Dec. 21st- Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews (Author Interview/Excerpt/Giveaway)
Dec. 22nd- A Book Lover’s Library (Book Review)
Dec. 23rd- The Avid Reader (Excerpt/Giveaway)
This book tour is brought to you by Full Moon Bites
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
Come by and visit these blogs. Leave comment. Make a wish!
November 8 Over Cuppa Tea Balancing Order and Chaos – how magic works
November 9 Book Reviews by Dee
November 10 Amys Booket List
November 11 A Buckeye Girl Reads
November 12 Hanging With Bells
November 13 My Devotional Thoughts
November 14 Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Books
November 15 Oh, The Books You’ll Read
November 16 My Cozie Corner
November 17 Hanging With Bells
November 18 Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Writer
|5.0 out of 5 stars Crones Rule!, October 14, 2012
This review is from: Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil (Kindle Edition)
I am going to read this again. There are no fairy tales for old people, well, except for this one. Ms. Babb give others, besides the pretty virgins, a chance to make wishes. I can’t tell you how many times I laughed out loud while reading this book. I can’t tell you how many times I had to read a phrase aloud just to enjoy it even deeper. Philosophy and wisdom give weight to this story that seems light-weight. This was too much fun for kids. It is fun only those with experience in the world will enjoy.
Thank you, BookRooster for offering this book for review. I loved it!
Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil by Charlotte Henley Babb.
I’m a fairy tale junkie and Maven Fairy Godmother is a winner for anyone who believes that every story should have a happy ending. Modern stories demand more of their happy endings. Princesses aren’t asking to be saved. They would rather save themselves.
Fairy Godmother Superior realizes that Fairy is dying. She’s got to recruit some new Fairy Godmothers or hundreds of years of work goes down the tubes. Neither of her two choices would be her first choices, or even her last, but she’s desperate.
Maven is an educated, unemployed woman in her fifties who is down on her luck and out of options. She responds to a call about a mysterious job interview. She is hired and wakes up in Fairy enlisted in Fairy Godmother boot camp. The first strike against her is that she is human, a mundane, someone from the other side of the veil. The Fairy Godmother Superior doesn’t seem to like her much and really doesn’t like the way Maven’s modern outlooks are introducing dangerously unorthodox ideas through the land.
Maven’s side-kick is even less viable as a candidate for Fairy Godmother status. Young and beautiful, Daisy is torn between her desire to save Fairy and to live in the Mundane, a place she dreams of often but has never visited. Enter a computer wizard, dragons, princes, wolves, helpless maidens, selfish maidens, dissatisfied maidens, with many offers of unrequited love. The story is rich with subplots, allegory, metaphors and literary allusions.
Maven Fairy Godmother is clever, witty, engaging. Unlike traditional fairy tales where the characters are flat archetypes we learn nothing about as individuals, Ms Babbs characters pull you in, developing round unforgettable personalities. Ms. Babb deftly weaves folklore, metaphor and human psychology into intriguing new fairy tales. She intertwines the basic rules of magic into an elegant, stylistically repeating admonition: be careful what you wish for.
I really enjoyed this read and it stayed with me for days. I was given a copy for review but was under no obligation to finish the book or review it. The opinions offered are strictly my own.
This dark fairy tale, in every sense of the words dark, fairy, and tale, is just too dark for me. The character development is engrossing as the stories of the past and present intertwine from the point of view of the woman who would be the fairy godmother of of a princess and a shoemaker. While there is a bit of Cinderella here, it’s written in blood with an obscenely expensive stiletto heel.
Set in the gritty world of “bespoke” shoes and designer fashion, the stories of three women are braided like a horsewhip of betrayal, violence and rape. The ending goes where it must, but I did not feel that the central character achieved her redemption or release, but only added another layer to the midden of her life. I was glad when it was over. But the writing is so good, I had to read to the end, always hoping for some spark of light and release that did not appear.
With a size 11WW foot, the idea of being able to commission a shoe of say, elephant hide, that would actually fit my foot, and to be able to walk in it, is beyond fairy tale fantasy for me. But even if I had the means to live in that world, I can’t imagine being only an assemblage of retail receipts, and not a person in my own right. That is exactly where the main character is, though she wears vintage Chanel.
The Telling of Shoes is well-told, and the writing unwavering. If you like that sort of thing, you will pulled into this maelstrom for a ride you won’t soon forget, no matter how hard you try.
J. A. Kazimer’s Curses! a F***ed Up Fairy Tale is fun in a Dr. Demento style. This Sam-Spade-meets-Snidely-Whiplash mash-up has more twists than a garter snake on a hot tin roof. It gets more than a little silly at times, but it’s entertaining and clever.
When Princess Cinderella is run over by a pumpkin carriage, everyone thinks it’s an accident except one disenchanted villain who has lost his magic and has the hots for Cinderella’s sister. That princess has a curse of her own to break, and its threads spin through the story, strangling witnesses before they can spill the beans.
The main character RJ’s recent demotion from villain to everyman causes him more than a little grief. RJ can’t use his usual magic, and can hardly even say a curse word. The twists are clever as RJ does his villainous best to capture the heart of the woman he loves, even after she tries to kill him.
I did get a bit tired of the constant snark, but every fairy tale you can imagine (or at least the old movie version onTV ) is folded, bent, spindled and mutilated by the typical private detective plot, with explosions. It’s available on kindle, but I read the dead-tree edition.