October is a good month to read one of the most subversive poems ever read to little kids. I wanted to do my first master’s thesis on it, but my committee said Christina Rosetti wasn’t important enough. However, they said, I could write about her brother, Dante . . . . Goblins, all of them.
“Goblin Market” by Christina Rosetti (1859) is after the jump. It’s a long poem, but well worth the trip. I tried pasting it in here, but it was just too much for the blog, so follow the link, please.
And if you don’t have time for Laura and Lizzie (although they are SO worth it), here’s “Promises Like Piecrust” (1861):
Promise me no promises,
So will I not promise you;
Keep we both our liberties,
Never false and never true:
Let us hold the die uncast,
Free to come as free to go;
For I cannot know your past,
And of mine what can you know?
You, so warm, may once have been
Warmer towards another one;
I, so cold, may once have seen
Sunlight, once have felt the sun:
Who shall show us if it was
Thus indeed in time of old?
Fades the image from the glass
And the fortune is not told.
If you promised, you might grieve
For lost liberty again;
If I promised, I believe
I should fret to break the chain:
Let us be the friends we were,
Nothing more but nothing less;
Many thrive on frugal fare
Who would perish of excess.
Alexandra Caluen, aka chacha1, has her latest romantic novella out now, Toward Love (LA Stories, Book 13), a story she notes has adult situations, themes, and language. So right down Argh’s alley.
The Amazon blurb says it all:
Sometimes, a person you barely noticed can become the most important person in the world. Cameron and Marco worked together once before, but when he’s cast as her love interest, an on-set ‘showmance’ becomes the real thing. Will navigating paparazzi, distance, and the demands of dual careers be smooth sailing? Find out in TOWARD LOVE.
Toward Love is available on Amazon, and you can learn all about
chacha’s Alexandra’s books on her website.
Lian Tanner writes middle-grade fantasy/adventure, and her most recent book came out in October last year. The second one in the series is coming out this October (stay tuned). Her previous kids’ books have sold into the US, but this one hasn’t yet, so she gave us Australian links. She posts here as Lian Tanner, the same name she writes under, and her latest (until October) is Accidental Heroes (The Rogues #1). It’s only available on Australian Amazon right now and they won’t sell to the US, but she has several books available on Amazon US, too (search for “Lian Tanner”).
How much do I love this cover?)
The devious Lord Rump and his granddaughter, Duckling, need a disposable boy, and Pummel, a farm boy looking for work in the city, fits the bill perfectly. Duckling is happy to tangle him in her grandpa’s web, as long as Grandpa keeps his promise – that this is his very last Scheme.
Lord Rump’s machinations take both children into the ancient Strong-hold of Berren, and before long they are entwined in a plot to kill the heir to the Faithful Throne. If they want to protect the heir and save themselves from an awful death, Duckling and Pummel must learn to use the magic that no one else believes in.
Check the book out or Lian’s website; buy on Amazon Australia or on the publisher’s link.
Jeanne Oates Estridge‘s Golden Heart winner, The Demon Always Wins, is available for pre-order now, to be released on September 1:
After beating Satan at poker, demon Belial takes on a new bet: If he can get God’s champion to curse God, within the agreed timeframe, Hell gains another soul and Belial earns a promotion to chief demon.
The demon always wins, but this time the deck may be stacked against him. Widowed nurse Dara Strong, the granddaughter of famous demon fighters, has no problem recognizing Belial, so when he appears in her clinic in doctor’s disguise, she kicks him out.
But Belial, the most successful soul-stealer in the history of Hell, is not about to give up so easily, and as their conflict escalates, so does their passion. Caught between a victory-hungry Satan and an unforgiving God, Belial and Dara discover there may be only one way to ransom the soul of a fallen angel: sometimes you have to go through Hell to claim your Heaven.
Read the first three chapters on Jeanne’s website, then go to Amazon to pre-order.
I know we have a lot of published writers who comment here, and I’ve been meaning to set up an organized way to post about their books for awhile, and I just got nudged (politely) to do that, so here’s what I think. Continue reading
Robert Frost was not a nice person, but he wrote excellent poetry. This poem has been in the front of my mind for two years now, pretty much since November of 2016 . . . Continue reading
I’m currently re-reading the Rivers of London series by Aaronovitch because I mistakenly thought the next one was out in August. Nope, November. I’m still enjoying them after multiple re-reads, so it’s about time I started taking them apart to see why. There are minor things that annoy me, but mostly they’re really solid stories about a great world full of great characters. Can’t ask for much more than that.
So what have you been reading?
I’m reading an old Michael Gilbert novel called End Game which has a rat bastard protagonist. David Morgan is hard-drinking, insensitive, and immoral, a man who comes in late to work, late to dinner, and stays late to search the boss’s office. He picks fights with his girlfriend who supports him financially, deliberately upsets a fussy, older woman at work who rightfully suspects him of slacking off and drinking on the job, sleeps around, and picks the locks of people who trust him to read private files about a business titan named Blackett. He’s a creep. The first time I read the book, I thought, “Why am I reading about this guy?” and kept reading anyway. The next time I read it, I looked at the plot which was as finely tuned as any of Gilbert’s stories. This time I read it just for that bastard protagonist: Why would any reader (especially a woman reader) stay in a story with David Morgan?
I’m still in Golden Age Mystery mode, more so since Amazon Prime put some of Christiana Brand’s books on sale for $1.99 for Prime Day. I started with the third Inspector Cockerill novel, one I hadn’t read and was amazed all over again by her characterization. Then I went back and got the first one and then the second, which is Green for Danger, one of the best mysteries I’ve ever read, about a military hospital during the Blitz. One of the reasons it’s so superb is that Brand wrote it during the Blitz, next to the military hospital where her husband worked, typing in her hard hat. It’s considered by mystery experts to be a classic, but everything she wrote is marvelous. I’ve got four more to go, and Amazon put some Catherine Aird on sale, too, so I’m good for the rest of the week.
What did you find to read this week?
I’ve been reading old mysteries–Allingham, Christie, Francis, etc.–and taking many naps. I did try one new book and really didn’t like it (name withheld to protect living author) because I wanted to slap the protagonist, always a bad sign. New mantra: Please let me never write a slappable protagonist. Of course, some people will find damn near anybody slappable. Sigh.
So what did you read this week? Any unslappable protagonists?