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Showing posts from June, 2012

Flash Fiction Fridays

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Sometimes, things just come together with no advanced planning or scheduling. I like to call these moments gifts from the writing gods. And the month of June here on Flash Fiction Fridays is one such gift. Each of these flash pieces harkens back to childhood, whether through old bedtime stories or mythical beasts of imagination.

Today, June comes to a close with a fable by Margaret Lake. Enjoy.


Mordaunt and the Dove
By Margaret Lake

Mordaunt leaned on the mossy bank of a shallow stream, tapping the sides of his scruffy boots together.

“Pennyfeather, old girl, it’s the end of the road.”

The chestnut tossed her head, snorting her disagreement.

The faded paint on the side of his creaky, wooden caravan read, “Mordaunt Telracs, Singer of Ballads, Teller of Fortunes, Maker of Most Effective Love Potions.” All gone. Gone with Fayri, his beautiful white dove whose arrival had nurtured his meager talent for casting his mind into the future. Mordaunt had no idea why…

Book Talk

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



If any of you are in Chicagoland, I will be appearing at the Elmwood Park Library tomorrow, June 28, at 7 p.m. to discuss A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One) and to introduce my latest, Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two). Might even throw in a bit about The Bibliophiles in general, too.

The Elmwood Park Library is located at One Conti Parkway, Elmwood Park, IL.

Hope to see you there!


Christmas in Almost July

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Happy Monday, dear readers.

This week, I am resuming work on my upcoming digital holiday short, "Sarah and Annie: A Bibliophiles' Christmas." Doesn't matter that the temperature is supposed to get up to 99°F on Thursday here in Chicagoland. I will be cranking up the AC and listening to Christmas music for inspiration.



Ho. Ho. Ho.







Since many of you are also writers, I was curious as to what you will be working on this fine week. Finishing a story? Starting a manuscript? Researching a possible novel topic? In the middle of a PR/marketing blitz?




Flash Fiction Fridays: A Real Humdinger

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Sometimes, things just come together with no advanced planning or scheduling. I like to call these moments gifts from the writing gods. And the month of June here on Flash Fiction Fridays is one such gift. Each of these flash pieces harkens back to childhood, whether through old bedtime stories or mythical beasts of imagination.

I hope you enjoy this piece by R. Doug Wicker.


Bob the Bell Ringer
By R. Doug Wicker

After Quasimodo’s unfortunate and rather sad ending, the Archbishop of Paris sent forth throughout the lands a proclamation advertising for a replacement bell ringer for his beloved Notre Dame Cathedral. But the Archbishop was a busy man, so he handed off the task of conducting the job interviews to the least senior priest, Father Barclay “Bat” Belfry.

Unfortunately, the archbishop was notoriously cheap, and the advertised salary did little to attract qualified candidates, so the requirement for an MA in bell ringing had to be waived for the sole a…

Goodreads Giveaway

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I am giving away ten copies of Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two) on Goodreads.

Goodreads is a great community of readers. If you have never checked it out, I highly suggest you do. There are discussion groups about every genre, book recommendations, and even literary trivia games. Lots of fun.

The deadline for entry is June 26. Good luck!


Goodreads Book Giveaway Until My Soul Gets It Right by Karen Wojcik Berner Giveaway ends June 26, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter to win

Editing for Grammarphobes: To Use or Not To Use

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



It has been about a year since a press release by the Oxford University Press set off a firestorm of debate by grammarians over the usage of the serial comma, also known as the Oxford comma.

As you might recall, both Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style and The Chicago Manual of Style encourage it, while the Associate Press Stylebook recommends removing it, unless it makes the sentence difficult to understand.

Coming from the journalism world, I am for deleting it when the list is made up of only three items, such as in the following sentence.

In the summer, I enjoy Pimm’s Cups, margaritas and sangria.

No need to add another piece of punctuation, right?




However, when the list is much longer, or includes a phrase with the word “and” in it, I think the comma should stay.

Here’s an example.

The lunch menu featured turkey and avocado wraps, a cobb salad, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Not the greatest of offerings, I know, but gourmand preferences …

Flash Fiction Fridays: Mythical Creatures

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Sometimes, things just come together with no advanced planning or scheduling. I like to call these moments gifts from the writing gods. And the month of June here on Flash Fiction Fridays is one such gift. Each of these flash pieces harkens back to childhood, whether through old bedtime stories or mythical beasts of imagination.

This week, please enjoy this story by M.R. Mathias.


Believe in Dragons?
By M.R. Mathias

It was a dark day with steel gray clouds flowing slowly past. An irritating wind pushed the two feline mounts sideways as they trudged across the wide open Plains of Theragar. Zax didn’t like it at all. “At least it’s not drizzling,” he mumbled to himself out loud.

The other rider, Dewd Willox, Zax’s partner since youth, harrumphed in agreement. The two were herding a half dozen prized elk across the plains to Vangar. It was a mundane job, but it paid well because of the risk.

“Hey Dewd, that time Geary saw the wyrm, did he say its eyes was real…

Whatcha Reading?

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER





Summer has officially arrived in our household. This was the first week the kids and I were able to wake up when we wanted to, not via the vile alarm. Bliss.

I equate summer with reading, as I am sure many of you do. This year is no different. I am eagerly anticipating several novels, anthologies and studies.

1. Cosette's Tribe by Leah Griffith.
2. Haunted by Janel Gradowski.
3. Construct a Couple by Talli Roland.
4. Finish up If I Had My Way by Lena Sledge.
5. A study of Tudor England with several books by British historian Alison Weir.

How about you? What is on your summer reading list this year?

Look to the Books

Good Monday, everyone.

Last week, I had the opportunity to write a guest blog for Amy Sue Nathan's wonderful site, Women's Fiction Writers, which discusses a plethora of writing issues and is always a great read. Thanks, Amy!

http://womensfictionwriters.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/writers-get-inspired-and-motivated-by-the-classics/

Flash Fiction Fridays: Child's Play Continues

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Sometimes, things just come together with no advanced planning or scheduling. I like to call these moments gifts from the writing gods. And the month of June here on Flash Fiction Fridays is one such gift. Each of these flash pieces harkens back to childhood, whether through old bedtime stories or mythical beasts of imagination.

This week, do we dare to go down the rabbit hole with Kayla Bashe?



The Last Alice
by Kayla Bashe

My name is Alice. I am twelve years old. I am the last Alice in England. All the others are dead.

I never wear blue, although I have been told that the color would suit me. This is precisely why I avoid it. I have never had a cat, a hair ribbon, tea with sugar or tea without. My mother lives in an asylum in London; she is the only mad person I have ever met.

The only impossible thing I believe, before breakfast or afterwards, is that I have inexplicably managed to survive.


The Queen cast her curse in the sixteenth year of her region, a …

'Until' Gets Five-Star Review

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Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two) just received a five-star review over at BigAl's Books & Pals.

Here's a snippet. For the full review, click here.

"It’s a story that anyone should be able to relate who has wanted to escape where they grew up, for whatever reason. Berner has a talent with prose that flows smoothly and puts the reader right where they belong, inside the character’s head. Until My Soul Gets It Right is another winner."


Rating: ***** Five stars

Second Bibliophiles' Novel On Sale Now

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Well, dear readers, it is official. Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two) is now available in paperback and ebook at amazon.com and for Nook on BN.com.

Most series follow one main character through various adventures. As you might know, mine is a little different. Each member of my fictional suburban classics book club, known as The Bibliophiles, "stars" in his or her own novel. We see their backstories — how they got to where they are today, and how they became the people know now.

For example, the first novel, A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One), featured overwhelmed, stay-at-home mom, Sarah, and PR executive Annie.

Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two) is Catherine Elbert's book, the actress from As You Like It, the Bibliophile's field trip from the end of the first novel.




Here's a quick description.

Catherine Elbert has never been good at making decisions, whether it was choosing…

Whirling Dervish

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



It is the first official Monday of summer in our household. Although my oldest has been off of school for two weeks already, having graduated high school on May 21, his younger brother has finally finished up his year, and both are joining me here at home.

No surprise then that my blog is coming out late today. I much preferred the notion of hanging out with them and eating strawberries and donuts for breakfast, rather than hitting work hard first thing this morning.




It happens.

Many things have been swirling around me lately — graduation, the graduation party, out-of-town relatives, deadlines, the unfortunate delay of my second novel, and my impending 25th college reunion next weekend — I guess I needed time to chill a little with my guys.

Now, with some Mozart in the background, it is time to get back on track. I am shooting for a Wednesday release for Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two), but am scared to tout it too much for fear o…

Flash Fiction Fridays: Child's Play

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Sometimes, things just come together with no advanced planning or scheduling. I like to call these moments gifts from the writing gods. And the month of June here on Flash Fiction Fridays is one such gift. Each of these flash pieces harkens back to childhood, whether through old bedtime stories or mythical beasts of imagination.

First up is Camille LaGuire's take on the classic story of "Jack and the Beanstalk."



The True Story of Jack’s Cow
By Camille LaGuire



"If those beans are so special," said Jack, "why are you trading them for an old
cow?"

The stranger froze, surprised. Jack wondered if the man was merely stupid, and it hadn't occurred to him that the cow wasn't worth much.

"My...my...my granddaughter," the man stammered. "She...her mother died when
she was born. I need the milk."

"This cow doesn't have a lot of milk left in her."

"I don't need much."

The strange…