This is the last post for the year so I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a happy holiday season. Whatever your beliefs and wherever you are in the world I hope you are with those you love and those who love you. I’m also posting a little early as I know how busy every can be at this time of year and under our current circumstance. Confession time: it’s a tad longer but I hope you will take the time to read anyway.
To be honest I have had moments lately when I dreaded this time of year. My family is in different parts of the country and the world and not just because of Covid. I think many of us have forgotten there are other factors that impact on families and friendships. Technology softens the blow a little but not enough. However, dwelling on that sadness doesn’t change things. Positive actions on the other hand can lift the spirits. Doing something small, something ridiculously inexpensive like a kind word towards another person makes a difference to our perspective and with luck we pass on the goodwill.
Running this end of month blog for instance (my chilling corner), where I feature other authors brings me great pleasure and takes me outside the narrow world of the self. I know personally that no matter how hard authors work, rewards are not easily forthcoming. Yet we continue. You see, most writers are incredibly generous and see words as a means of offering respite in a world too often difficult.
As a receiver, better known as a reader, this qualifies as an incredible gift of kindness. Every time I pick up a physical book, or ‘turn on’ my kindle I enter another world and return refreshed. If you feel the same, then spare the time to leave a review on a book, a comment on a blog or a like on a media post. It costs nothing but means so much to us. It is an acknowledgement that we exist and a means to keep us working harder to please. We need that push. In any case, kindness in any environment is the greatest gift we can give each other.
Spotlight on Jette Ezra
This month I am very happy spotlighting Jette Ezra, a middle school to teens author although personally I think most adults would also enjoy her books. These days, now that I no longer teach, I don’t get the opportunity to read a lot of literature for young people and consequently I was happy to come across a writer who not only captures that teen voice exceedingly well but is an Indie author and an Australian. Yes, of course there is a slight lean towards Aussies but never at the cost of the truth. Jette is a very entertaining writer who offers some deep and interesting insights into those difficult growing years. She makes many good points with humour, clever dialogue, and her own brand of originality. And, Jette has also been generous enough to offer you a free short story (it’s funny and poignant). However, there is more. I will hand over to Jette and let her fill you in:
Jette Ezra here. I’m a new author. Well, not to me, I’ve been toiling away at this craft for nine years. But I am new to you; my first novel’s just been released, and I’ve published indie because I didn’t want to lose control of my work. There are a lot of horror stories out there.
When I first decided to write for young teens I thought—Meh, a year’ll do it, that’s how long it takes to finish a novel, right?
I could have written a novel in a year, but it would have been bad. I had no idea that being an avid, intelligent reader wouldn’t automatically make me a stellar, fabulous author – embarrassing, right? Also, enlightening and humbling. I spent years writing and failing, writing and failing. Bashing my head on a keyboard before settling on a theme that matters to me, and the rest fell into place. I want to debunk the idea that a relationship with God requires a whole lot of rules. It doesn’t. You just need to love and trust. I love God, so she/he’s what I want to write about but in a way that’s relevant to our modern culture. Simple really.
Yes, yes, I know. But before you roll your eyes, give me a go. Here’s a link to a short story of mine where there isn’t a God word in sight. It’s called, My Perfect Mother and How I Fixed Her. It’s about a teenager who overcomes her anger and her mother to achieve her ultimate goal. It led to my first novel which looks at spirituality a bit more but with humour and from a real-life situation.
It’s called What Does God Know Anyway? and focuses on a young teen who—well, I could go on about it, but maybe you’d like to hear from Carly herself? Here she is:
“Mom’s gone nuts, I can’t control my freaky outbursts, and my teacher wants to put me in a foster home. On top of all that, some Jesus guy’s trying to tell me what to do. But what would he know? I don’t care what he says. I’m going to outsmart everyone, become a star, and fix everything.”
Actually, you know what? You can have the novel for free too. Every adult who’s read it, has loved it. Or give it to your teen. In return, maybe you could leave me a review on Goodreads? Anyway, here’s the link. What Does God Know Anyway? Free Download.
Carly’s a great laugh and she never gives up. Never. I hope you’ll like her.
PS. Thanks for reading and to Barb for giving me the opportunity to talk with you. 😊
Despite a completed draft (numerous times), Unexpected Passion in my series, Unexpected Love, Book 2 needs more editing (very normal) but I am hoping it all comes together for Valentine’s Day. My female lead, Lexi, is pretty special, a little crazy, a little older, a lot funny and definitely deserves notice. I’ve set myself a deadline and who knows I may just get there.
Currently reading All That He Is by another Australian author, Jill Staunton and it is shaping up to be my favourite read this year. In my mind, I see the novel as an ode to the Australian bush. She did the same with Reiver’s Moon, her first novel – gave us a depiction of Australia’s unique landscape with her words. This time she weaves her audience through a love story not only between two people but also one to remind us of the brave men and women who work the land. Criminal intent (think our wildlife) features along with the battle of servicemembers to leave nightmares behind once they come home.
The latter is tasteful with a tug at the heartstrings. I am loving every word and highly recommend it despite the last chapter waiting for my attention. For more on Jill, check out my post on Jill Staunton from a few years ago by clicking on Reiver’s Moon below.
On a lighter note, I watched Miss Congeniality again for the I don’t know how many times (I adore Sandra Bullock) and then watched a trailer of her new film The Lost City with Channing Tatum. It looks so funny. I can’t wait to see it because I need a good laugh. I think we all could use some smiles. Check it out.
Thank you to http://www.unsplash.com for the gorgeous Christmas puppy.
Until next month, and happy holidays once again,
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