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E-books on Memory Cards

I love when people take something popular and branch off in a new, innovative direction. Entrepreneurship makes me feel like the human race is actually capable of so much more than we already do; it gives me hope. Granted, this idea needs some work to actually be feasible and worth it, especially because it means going backward a bit from digital to tangible. But I'm imagining those singing greeting cards but with an e-book inside them. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Check out this demo for e-books in memory cards.


Little Sacrifices by Jamie Scott - Book Review

Little Sacrifices by Jamie Scott is an historical novel about the American South just after World War II. But it's also about a young woman dealing with life and its curve balls.

Little Sacrifices by Jamie Scott book cover

I was instantly drawn in to the story. So much so that I'd forgotten I was reading and wasn't sitting in a hot car under the Savannah, Georgia sun myself. The characters are interesting and the history was well-integrated. The dialogue was a little hard to follow at times because the characters all seem to have the same dialect and there weren't always tags in long conversation.

The voice was authentically teen. Her feelings rang true with me. But for some reason I wasn't emtionally drawn in. Nothing was plucking my heart strings. I think it's because there wasn't a unified story. There were multiple climaxes and story arcs that followed a similar theme but didn't mesh well together.

This is a book I couldn't put down, and I definitely recommend it.

I received this book from the author for review.


Cinderella Conclusion - Original Fairy Tales Challenge

The conclusion of my Cinderella retelling (click that for the first part) for my Original Fairy Tales Challenge. Let me know what you think, I love critiques (honestly, I can't get better without them).

Flamingos by ~emeph on deviantART

     Ella held up the edge of her shimmery, purple gown and carefully placed a heeled foot on the next wooden step, then another heeled foot on the Astroturf.  She patted the pink flamingo by the gate for luck. One of Marjorie's many admirers was sitting in his beater truck waiting for Ella. He honked the horn and revved the engine so she stopped hugging her aunt and went stumbling across the gravel to the door.
     "Make sure you say hello to the birthday boy!" Marjorie called, watching the truck disappear around the bend with Ella's hand waving elbow-elbow-wrist-wrist out the window. Then she sat in her lawn chair to light up again and wait until midnight. Ella would be back to return the dress by then or else Hadley would catch her before she got home around one. That woman needed her beauty sleep, and still it did nothing for her.
     Ella left her hand dangling out the window to feel the breeze. She was hot and flustered. Her chest constricted like it did when Jessica was sitting on her and pulling her hair just for fun.
     She arrived at the party and realized the air inside the club was worse than the truck. The elegance of the gold chandeliers and the pink champagne with floating strawberries was too overwhelming.
     Girls in pretty dresses swirled around the dance floor on their partners' arms. She felt more dazzled by the flirtatious smiles all around her than the twinkling lights. Ella ducked and weaved through the crowd to avoid her stepsisters. They were obnoxiously loud in one corner where they were recounting their dances with the birthday boy for a few other girls in their class.
     "He was just so sweet."
     "Ain't he just perfect?"
     Following the wall, she found the birthday boy, greeted him dutifully, and then escaped to the back lawn. She hadn't paid enough attention, because someone had followed her.
     "Do I know you?"
     Ella whipped around to face the deep, sultry voice.
     "You wished me happy birthday, but I don't think I know you."
     "I was invited," Ella stammered. One of her heels was stuck in the grass from her quick turnaround. Her ankle was twisted at the oddest angle and she was trying to hide her grimace as she yanked on her foot.
     "Are you ok?" the boy with the square jaw and shiny blue eyes said. He peered around her legs.
     "I'm fine." Her foot flew out of the shoe. She kept her gown over it to hide her embarrassment.
     "Well, can I know your name?"
     "No." She looked right at him, daring him to ask again.
     "Ok. Um. My name is Darryl."
     "Yes. I know."
     "Well this is awkward," Darryl said with a breathy laugh.
     "I was just about to leave anyways." Ella adjusted her dress and switched her weight from her sore ankle.
     "You just got here. Do you want to go for a walk?"
     She glanced at the clock above the patio door. It was just about to strike 11:45 and she knew she needed to get back. Marjorie had taken so long with her make-up she had only had about an hour at the party. It was all fine for her, she was done. There was no need to try this stunt again.
     "No. Thank you. I really do have to go."
     The boy, Darryl, showed no sign of leaving, so Ella gave up and turned her back. She left her shoe stuck in the ground and limped to the truck in the driveway. She heard Darryl laughing behind her, but she threw her shoulders back and held her head high as she wobbled across the soft, dewy grass and into the dirty truck.
     She looked back to see Darryl holding her shoe like a teddy bear and squinting to read the truck's license plate.
* * *
     Then things happened in a flash. Ella made it home and was in her bed before her evil caretaker would stumble in. But she woke the next morning to bright sunshine caressing her face and the sound of trucks on the highway overpass – not a single screech or moan or complaint.
     She sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes. And then she saw flashing red and blue lights circling their way closer and closer to her bedroom window. The police car stopped outside and walked up her path. She ran for the door, breathless with fear.
     "Ma'am, I'm sorry to tell you this but your guardian and sisters died in a car crash last night."
     He held his arms out, ready to catch a fainting girl, but he was disappointed when she jumped up in the air and whooped.
     She moved in with her aunt, she found a job at the local ice cream parlor, she went back to high school, she continued with life. But then one day, she was invited back to the country club by a boy who had just moved to town. He went to the public high school with her, but he was part of the elite sweaters-on-shoulders crowd. He took her to the pool and then they walked around the gardens in the back of the club.
     They sat on a stone bench, enjoying the feeling of the sun and the hormones coursing through their veins. Ella looked up into the dazzling sky and saw the top of a fountain that hid in the middle of a hedge maze. It was her shoe. She grabbed the boy's hand and tugged him through the maze, darting this way and that to find her way through. They reached the middle and she gaped at her shoe, on top of a three-tiered birthday-cake fountain, with a plaque at the bottom that read:
     For the girl I lost.


Cinderella - Original Fairy Tales Challenge

My Cinderella story is ready! Here is the first half, the rest to be posted later this week.

Cinderella by Maryanneleslie on deviantART

  In the dark night only the tip of her cigarette was visible. With every pull it brightened with an electric orange. Then through the dim light she saw a girl running. She ducked between the RVs, campers, mobile homes, and every pink flamingo in between. Her white skin and yellow hair flashed like neon lights in the darkness.
"Ella?" Marjorie called.
"Shhh!" the girl cried. She flipped over the makeshift, plastic fence in front of Marjorie's trailer. "Aunt Marjorie, don't let them know I'm here."
"Why are you here?"
"Because that witch is being cruel. She's always cruel. And her daughters just make it worse. I needed a break."
"So you come to me."
"Well, you are my aunt, aren't you?"
"Yes." Marjorie stubbed out her cigarette and looked Ella over. Her rags were more rags now than ever and her face was streaked with dirt. She had the blossoming body of a young woman, and the face of an angel covered in soot.
"You need to brush your hair. Come on in."
Ella followed her aunt inside and sat down before the flannel-covered couch to be pampered. After the tangles were gone and her hair shone like gold, she fell asleep with her head tilted back, mouth open. Marjorie turned on the TV and let the blue glare wash over them.
In the morning Ella woke with a start. She ran back to her own trailer, hoping her stepmother hadn't noticed her absence. She raced into the kitchen and started the breakfast. In her father's shaving mirror, hung inside a cabinet that Hadley never dared open in case there were rats inside nibbling on the crackers, Ella saw her shiny hair and tried to muss it enough so Hadley wouldn't punish her. She wasn't supposed to leave their trailer, especially if Hadley was asleep.
Hadley and her daughters, Jessica and Jennifer, stumbled into the kitchen with their hair in curlers and cigarettes dangling from their lips.
"Good morning," Ella said. She set plates and mugs before them and then went to clean their rooms.
"Ella!" Hadley screeched.
"Yes?" she stopped in the hallway.
"We're going to the club tonight for a birthday party." Her stepsisters went to a private school with debutantes and yacht owners. Ella was convinced Hadley was doing inappropriate things with the headmaster to afford the tuition. "We need the dresses on my bed cleaned and fancied. And I need you to go buy some make-up at the 7-Eleven."
"Along with your other chores," Hadley said.
Jessica and Jennifer spent the afternoon with masks on their faces, painting each other's toenails. They sent Ella here and there, getting things – another color eye shadow from the store, their brushes from the bathroom, a soda from down the road at the bus stop, a movie from the rental store. They made her wax their legs and then slapped her when it hurt. She helped them put on their dresses, curled their hair, and smoothed in their bronzer and blush.
When they finally left in a limo borrowed from one of the other trailer park residents, Ella felt like her back was going to break and her fingers would bleed. Instead of finishing what she had left to do, she went to Marjorie.
Marjorie took one look at her face and dabbed at the tears with the corner of her floral Muumuu. She put her arm around Ella's shoulder and led her inside.
"What now?" she asked, popping open a can of soda.
"They went to a dance at the country club. I've been running around all day. I'm just tired. Can I sleep?"
"They went to a dance?"
"Well, then you should go too."
"What?" Ella sat up from her almost-asleep position on the broken recliner.
"Why not?"
"Let's see," she counted off on her fingers, "I don't have a dress, I wasn't invited, I look terrible, they would kill me when I got there. What else?"
"They won't even know you're there. Come with me."
She tugged on Ella's arm and got her to stand. She led her over the shag carpet and past the laminate wood walls to a room in the back Ella had never seen. Inside were closets upon closets built from PVC pipe and shower curtains. Marjorie threw one open and sparkles and glitter and pretty things came tumbling out.
"What is all this?"
"I used to be on stage."
Ella's mouth dropped open.
"Oh close your mouth. Not like that. I was in beauty pageants, darlin'."
Ella ran her fingers over the sequined dresses. They felt stiff and sharp, like the edges of knives, but they shimmered.
"I've got tons of make-up too. A little old and maybe crumbly, but it'll do. Go take a shower, we'll make you shine."


You'll Have to Forgive Me

I'm supposed to put a Cinderella rewrite fairy tale up today for my Original Fairy Tales Challenge...but I got lazy and didn't start writing it until this weekend. I'm excited about it, but I'm not done. So please hang on a few more days and I'll post it.