Edith Wharton: Seven Facts Outside Fiction

A few interesting facts about Edith Wharton, one of my favorite authors. While she is best known for Age of Innocence and House of Mirth, my particular favorite will always be Ethan Frome.

Interesting Literature

By Viola van de Sandt

Edith Wharton’s most famous novels – among them The House of Mirth (1905), Ethan Frome (1911), and The Age of Innocence (1920) – have earned her a steadfast place within the modern-day canon of American literature. Yet some of the most interesting and provocative instances of her writing are also to be found in her letters, notes, and memoirs.

1. Wharton noted down every witty statement that came to her mind in a book of epigrams, some of which eventually found their way into her novels or short stories. Among them are classic quotes such as ‘For always getting what she wants in the long run, commend me to a nasty woman,’ and ‘Mr and Mrs Wetherall’s circle was so large that God was included in their visiting-list.’

2. The House of Mirth caused a huge scandal at the time of its serial publication between…

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Sony gets on the stick…at last

Get your copy of Yesterday Road before it goes up to $3.99 and costs almost as much as a Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte!



It only took three months, but the Sony Reader Store is now offering Yesterday Road. Purchase it ry-chere.

Oh, and by the way, don’t forget that the price is going up to $3.99 on or around Feb.1, so if you need that dollar for something else, be sure to grab your copy today!

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Author Interview: Amber Skye Forbes

Welcome to an interview with Amber Skye Forbes, author of When Stars Die, a young adult paranormal romance novel recently published by AEC Stellar Publishing.


Amber also has a blog at http://amberskyeforbes.wordpress.com, where she writes about writing and publishing and also about mental illness, her own struggles, as well as others.

M:  Amber, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview and for coming here from your home in Georgia.  Please have a seat here on my couch and make yourself comfortable.

ASF: This couch is quite cozy. Feels like the one at my psychiatrist’s office, although I hope you’re not here to change my meds. (more…)

Happy Birthday, Lewis Carroll!

Happy [belated] birthday to Lewis Carroll! Read on for some interesting facts about this most interesting author.

Interesting Literature

The man who wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was born today in 1832. In honour of this, here’s another instalment in our new ‘Five Fascinating Facts’ series, this time all about Lewis Carroll.

1. There is an interesting link between Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Specifically, the title of Carroll’s book was suggested to him by Tom Taylor, the author of Our American Cousin – the play Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated in 1865. Carroll wanted to call his book Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, but Taylor thought that with such a title, young readers might think the book had something to do with mining!

2. Lewis Carroll once stayed up all night composing an anagram of William Ewart Gladstone. The result of such lucubration was the following gem: ‘Wild agitator, means well’.

Carroll13. He almost always brewed his tea for exactly ten minutes.

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Top Ten Things Not to Do While Grocery Shopping

Here is the 30th installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at http://1writeway.com and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at http://johnwhowell.com. These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.

10. When grocery shopping, do not go to the store on an empty stomach. At best, you will quiet your grumbling stomach with a candy bar or two while waiting in the check-out line. At worst, you will wind up devouring the entire rotisserie chicken that was to be your family’s dinner, guzzling a 64-oz bottle of Coke, and tearing into your kid’s favorite cereal, all before you reach the checkout.

9. When grocery shopping, do not assume that the shortest check-out line is indeed the quickest check-out line. At best, the person ahead of you with five items will want to use a personal check to pay and you’ll only have to wait an additional ten minutes while the cashier and store manager figure out a way to finally approve the check. At worst, the person ahead of you with only nine items will question the cashier on each and every item (naturally, all the items were supposed to be on sale including the ten gallon water jug which looks like it came from the employee break area), then proceed to call the store manager to further argue an unwinnable position, and now that you are stuck every line around you is so long the few minutes you thought you saved have turned into thirty minutes wasted.

8. When grocery shopping, do not assume that all the sale items, especially the 2-for-1 deals, have been entered into the registers. At best, the cashier will take a few minutes to correct the error if you see you were charged for each item instead of 2-for-1. At worst, you’ll be like the guy in #9, having to argue each item on sale and drawing the ire and ill-will of every other shopper behind you.

7. When grocery shopping, do not assume that your regular grocery store will always and forever maintain the floor layout to which you’ve grown accustomed. At best, your store might make only subtle changes like moving the eggs from beside the butter to beside the yogurt, but on the same aisle. At worst, one day you will walk in and become quickly convinced that you’re in the wrong store. You will spend hours trying to find the raisins which used to be on Aisle 3 among other dried fruits but are now on Aisle 36 next to the juice with the logic that fruit is fruit.

6. When grocery shopping, do not forget to wear ear plugs. If you do forget your ear plugs, at best, you will simply slow your pace and linger longer than planned due to the hypnotic effect of the “music.” At worst, the subliminal messages of “buy more, buy more, buy more” will enter your brain and you will wind up buying twice as much food as you originally intended, leaving your wallet half as full.

5. When grocery shopping, do not think that by leaving your credit cards and checkbook at home, you can avoid spending over your budget at the store. At best, the subliminal messages from #6 will cause you some mild embarrassment as you decide to forfeit the bottle of Merlot, Death-by-Chocolate cake, and fancy new plastic wine glasses (all items NOT on your shopping list) because you don’t have enough cash. At worst, either to avoid embarrassment or because you are still prey to the messages of “buy more,” you will leave your items at the register, dash to the ATM, withdraw as much as you can, and then promptly ask for a case of the Merlot (which you may need later when you realize how much you have spent).

4. When grocery shopping, do not think that the fresh fruit being offered as 2-for-1 is necessarily a great deal. At best, the fruit will be fine and edible until the next morning when you realize you will have to eat all of it since it is quickly going bad. At worst, after you come home and put all the food away, you decide to have some strawberries and cream. Then you discover that the 2-for-1 fresh fruit has one layer of fresh fruit atop moldy, squishy fruit which moves on its own, and causes you to lose your appetite and throw it all out.

3. When grocery shopping, do not think that the baggers are always well trained. At best, you will have a bagger who knows enough to put the eggs on the top of other items in a bag. At worst, you will get a bagger who either wasn’t trained or doesn’t care, but you won’t know until you get home and find that a large bottle of laundry detergent was packed on top of your package of sushi rolls, which now resemble sushi pancakes.

2. When grocery shopping, do not think that slowly walking down the middle of an aisle with your head down while talking on your cell phone will not annoy anyone. At best, shoppers trying to get around you may just gently prod your shopping cart and alert you to the need to get out of the way. At worst, you may find yourself pinned between your shopping cart and the cart of the person or persons who finally lost their temper with you and are now sending you, shopping carts and all, into the egg section.

1. When grocery shopping, do not think that being polite to shoppers on cell phones and oblivious to their surroundings will help you keep your temper. At best, you will quickly realize that navigating around these people is futile and that you should just park your shopping cart and step around the offending shopper to get the items you need. At worst, you will lose your temper, causing you to literally crash into the offending shopper with your cart, and the momentum will be enough to send you both into the egg section. As with automobile rear-end accidents, you will be the assumed guilty party and the store will likely make you pay for the broken eggs as well as clean them up.

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What the Hell: Where’s Kevin Brennan?

Many in my WordPress community know about a wonderful writer and blogger named Kevin Brennan.  His blog can (usually) be found at http://kevinbrennanbooks.wordpress.com/.  Unfortunately, if you click on that link, you will get this (sorry about the lousy resolution):

Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 10.46.07 PM

Kevin doesn’t know why WP has suspended his site.  I don’t know why.  I read and re-read the Terms of Service.  Regarding suspended blogs, WP offers this cheery message:  “We take our Terms of Service very seriously and act on each and every feedback we receive in order to investigate potential breaches. Our terms are enforced on a daily basis, as we want WordPress.com to be a pleasant and safe environment for all of our valued users.”  Yes, I understand “pleasant and safe” is important to all of us.  But to just suspend someone without word, in effect, assuming that blogger is guilty until proven innocent, seems just a tad unfair.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of such a thing happening.  But I don’t have any answers as to why it happens or what to do about it.  Has this happened to any of you who happen to be reading this post?  If so, what did you do about it?  How do you avoid it?

I am making this post out of pure selfishness.  I miss Kevin’s blog.  If you have any insights or suggestions, please comment.  Thanks 🙂

PS And, yeah, I’m listing a few “Related articles” related to Kevin’s blog so that, once it comes back, you can enjoy them 🙂

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The Knitter and Mashed Potatoes

This short story was inspired by a post on Jill Weatherholt‘s blog:  http://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/is-that-really-true/.  If you haven’t visited Jill’s blog yet, you should do so.  Like me, Jill is a writer who has to juggle a full-time job with her passion for writing.  Her posts are always entertaining, thoughtful, and generate a lot of comments.  And, apparently, they can also be the inspiration for a short story.


English: A small plate with a serving of mashe...

English: A small plate with a serving of mashed potatoes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another off-white, brown speckled clump fell beside Emily.  She had been dozing.  Well, really she had been sleeping.  Sleeping for six days as she did every week.  The soft thud of the odd clump was enough to rouse her, and she stirred in her rocking chair, her hands folded in her lap.  She stretched, raising her arms straight up and then out like wings.  Her back crackled as each vertebrate popped into life.  She gazed down at the unsightly lump beside her chair and smiled.  It was Sunday.  Sunday dinner to be exact, and she could knit. (more…)

Five Fascinating Facts about Virginia Woolf

On a day when I am suffering a terrible headache, I’ve been rewarded for turning on my computer with this latest post from Interesting Literature. I spent many years studying Woolf’s writing and her biography while I was in graduate school. She will always have a special place in my heart and my mind.

Interesting Literature

By Viola van de Sandt

More than seventy years after her death, Virginia Woolf continues to be a source of inspiration, analysis, interest, and admiration. Emphasis on a small number of famous events in her lifetime has turned her into a mythological figure that, at times, may have little resemblance to the flesh-and-blood woman behind the brand. Yet besides the stories of her breakdowns, her ‘madness,’ her snobbishness, her suicide, and the sexual abuse she suffered, there’s much more to tell about the writer who was at the forefront of twentieth-century Modernism.

1. When Virginia and Leonard Woolf, who together ran the Hogarth Press, received the manuscript of the first chapters of James Joyce’s Ulysses, they turned it down for publication because it was impossible to print the entire book on their handpress. Although she later came to appreciate some aspects of the book, having read it through the…

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Check out Ereader News Today today

I’m a day late with reblogging this post by Kevin Brennan, but it’s not too late to click on the links and see the listing of Yesterday Road on Ereader New Today. At the least, go over to Ereader News Today’s Facebook page and tell your Facebook friends (and strangers) how much you enjoyed Yesterday Road. Or plan to enjoy it once you buy a copy 🙂


Small cover

As promised, Yesterday Road will be listed on the free/bargain ebook site, Ereader News Today. You can click here to see the listing.

Later it will be posted on their Facebook page. Please drop over to LIKE their page and leave a comment about Yesterday Road. It could help drum up business!

Also, if you have a spare slot on your blog today, maybe you can reblog this announcement.

Thanks in advance, everyone!

UPDATE: As of 6:10 pm PST, Yesterday Road is #1910 7(!) on the Kindle Store Literary Humor list. Not half bad. (And ahead of Jennifer Weiner…) 😝

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Big Launch in 2014 My GRL Fiction Thriller by John W. Howell

Big Launch in 2014 My GRL Fiction Thriller

By John W. Howell

Now available on Amazon a new Fiction Thriller published by Martin Sisters Publishing

my grl5star-shiny-web

My GRL by John W. Howell is fast-paced thriller that shows how your life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. . . It is a well-written story that kept me glued, page after page.” Readers’ Favorite Five Stars – Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi. See the entire review HERE

Click cover to visit Amazon


John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

Author Bio:

Photo by Tim Burdick

Photo by Tim Burdick

John W. Howell’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. He also has a three times weekly blog at Fiction Favorites .

John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author Contact:

E-mail: johnwhowell.wave@gmail.com

Twitter: @HowellWave

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

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