Review: Code Name Verity




My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Take to the skies in this gut reeling, high flying adventure shared by two courageous women in World War II. But beware the barrage balloons.

Two best friends fly over France on a secret mission. Two best friends fall behind enemy lines. Two best friends find themselves at the mercy of the Gestapo and the Resistance. Two best friends recount their individual experiences, separated from each other, in sprawling ink over reclaimed blank pages of recipe cards, hotel stationary, and a field notebook commandeered from a Nazi officer. It's honest, it's torture, it's espionage. 

I already have a mile long list of "To Read" books so I wasn't looking for something to read when this one sort of fell into my hands. I had read and loved a novel with a similar theme of female WWII pilots when I was a teenager so when a friend of mine offered Code Name Verity to me I jumped the queue and started reading it immediately. 

It took me about a week to read, but only because I had to split my reading time between textbooks about the history of Islam, politics of Turkey, and mathematics. The writing is brilliant in that it is conversational and thus speeds you along page by page amping up your heart rate and forcing reader investment into the wellbeing and survival of the characters. But nothing is guaranteed in war and we remember that always as we flip through their story. The risk of death is ever impending. 

I'm conflicted in which score to truly give for this review. While I'd love to offer it 5 stars, there is a strong piece of me that wants to give it 4.5 and here is why: it ended abruptly. The irony in this is that I loved reading the book so much that I wanted it to last longer (thus the 5 stars), but because it ended so quickly with many unresolved questions in the reader's mind that has nothing to do with WWII and everything to do with the main character's life thereafter I want to give it 4.5 stars. As a writer, I tip my hat to Elizabeth Wein. She's left us wanting more and didn't wrap everything up in a tidy little bow. As a reader, I think I would leer at here if I passed her in the street because I want - no - I need to know more about what happens next! 

So I'll rest at 5 stars. She's earned them and the novel really is well worth it. It's stated that this is a young adult fiction and, as I've only just found out, I am struggling with trying to accept that. So I'll put it as simply as I can - don't let the genre scare you off. If this is young adult fiction, it's the Shania Twain of young adult fiction and can hop genres all it wants!

I highly recommend this read to men and women both, as much as teenagers. It's a serious depiction of a history not always told of the women fighters, spies, pilots, and prisoners of WWII and the profound impact they had on the outcome of the war.

Writing Prompt Forty-Six

Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Spotlight: The Reoccurring Dream by Sarah Oliverson


Response to Writing Prompt Forty:  I followed him down the white washed stairs of a stucco walled corridor. His hand in mine, I let him lead me away from the tour group.

There was nothing normal about taking this gorgeous Mexican man’s hand and pretending to follow him down the rabbit hole so to speak. Here I am winding down the white washed stairs listening to his soothing voice as he tells me about his heritage and how he is actually half Mexican and half Irish. What an interesting combination. Two of my favorites for sure, both know how to party in their own way. As he speaks he gingerly skips down the stairs, glancing back every so often with his golden brown eyes to make sure I’m not rolling down the stairs face first.

 As we near the bottom of the stairs I cannot help but feel a sense of regret that perhaps our adventure is coming to an end. Then again I am mistaken as he leads me to a courtyard with loud music. I am in heaven. It is nice to be able to keep eye contact with him for more than a mere moment. As I am looking into his eyes he scoops me into his arms and whisks me away to the dance floor in time to the music. You could almost say he has me in a trance. I am having the time of my life!

He bends over and speaks smoothly into my ear, “Would you like me to get you some type of refreshment?”

The words catch in the back of my throat as I look in his eyes, all I can do is nod at him.

“Don’t worry, I have beautiful surprises for beautiful women.” He whispers before walking away. Are there truly men like this in the world now days? I can’t help but think this as I watch him walk away. It isn’t long before he comes back with a wine glass with gold liquid in it. That could make it anything I think to myself.

Winking at me as he hands me the glass, my stomach launches into my throat. This is the wrong time to get the question of whether or not you’re in a safe place or not. I cannot help but place the glass at my lips and smirk at him.

As he takes my hand the sounds around me finally reach my ears. There is screaming all around us. I blink, having the ability to look away from him I’m horrified. There are adults running around all over the place. Chaos is everywhere and somehow my feet are planted firmly where I stand.

“What is happening here?” I turn and ask my mixed friend.

At a moment’s notice he is behind me with his arms around me and his lips on my ears, “This is the beginning of a lifelong adventure my dear.”

As his words sink into my ears his teeth sink into my neck, but there isn’t any pain there. Everything  becomes fuzzy, the screams grow into one. My eyes fly open to the same man staring at me. He was the same man that was sinking his teeth into my neck.


As my screams die on my lips, my husband’s hands smoothing my bed fuzzed hair whispering soothing words to me to help slow my heart beat. Here's to meeting him again at the same place. What a dream!

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Writing Prompt Forty-Five

Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Writing Prompt Forty-Four

Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

The Art of Criticism: Five Types and How to Handle Them

I've been writing since I was a kid just like many of you out there. And like you, I've shared my writing with my community whether it was my parents, siblings, friends, internet forums, writing groups, or professional editors. And, like you, I've had my run-ins with all different sorts of feedback and personalities. 

In this post I explain my top five most commonly experienced criticizers and how I've learned to balance their input with my writing and self-esteem. 

Do any of these ring a bell?
Who have I left out?

Five Types of Criticism and How to Handle Them:



1. The Wet Blanket - Oh the doubter. You know what I mean - that person who isn't very confident in what they have to say (which usually rolls over into other parts of their life) and whose only purpose, though likely unintentional, is to make you doubt yourself and your ability to convey an idea or be bold enough to write something that challenges the general norm. The Wet Blanket.

How to Handle: Step 1: Don't seek their advice. Chances are, you already know they are a wet blanket based on previous experience and conversation with them. If you can't avoid it or they offer their advice unsolicited, steel yourself against their hemming and hawing and keep your head held high. If they have crept in and you feel a need to be pumped up, seek the company of Type #2.


2. The Yes-man - Opposite of The Wet Blanket, this person doesn't really know how to break bad news to you so everything is amazing. Great for a confidence boost - like the last speech a general gives before you run into battle - but they aren't entirely reliable and you're not likely to get much true advice out of them. Everything is rosy and fine. 

How to Handle: Sometimes we need a boost to regain some confidence in ourselves, so I wouldn't say to avoid this person's criticism (or lack there of). Instead, just know your audience and be sure to seek further feedback from other sources in order to improve your work and craft. If you only go to The Yes-man you're only getting one, highly favorable, opinion.


3. The Internet Troll - They float around the internet, hidden in the comfort of their homes and coffee shops and subway seats, protected by the anonymity of the web, a chip on their shoulder and a sneer in their commentary. Maybe they are doing it for laughs, or to impress other people, or because they just don't have anything better to do. Maybe their ego stands in the way of their communication skills. I don't know. I'm not a fan of Internet Trolls no matter the topic of instigation, but they seem to run rampant these days; are even glorified.

How to Handle: Heed their advice like you'd heed a great white shark petting zoo. Do NOT engage! I made this mistake and I've learned from it. Just let them be and don't add fuel to their fire. Say "Thank you for your feedback" and leave it at that. No matter what, don't take it at face value, but don't ignore them completely either. Think logically about their comments and try to fish out any glimmers of truth. Then walk away and doing what you do.


4. The Scholar - Oh yes, they do know everything there is about writing and style and voice and presentation and story arc. So much so that their word should be taken as gospel and any questions of their feedback is blasphemy and a direct insult of their intelligence. They are the kind of person more interested in editing your manuscript to form their world and voice rather than maintaining yours. Beware of the antithesis of this type - The Dropout - who volunteers to edit your work, but spks lyk dis, nah meen?

How to Handle: This type of reviewer would likely be excellent for grammar, punctuation, and spelling feedback. If that is what you are looking for, then this might be your best place to find it. Just make sure you tell them in the beginning that that is all you are looking for.


5. The Builder - An individual who is educated in their field who can offer you constructive criticism that will build you in spirit and skill. These are the kind of people who will tell you what they liked about your writing and then offer you advice on how to improve it. We love these guys.

How to Handle: This is the adviser you want to actively seek out. Work with them and appreciate their time and efforts. Buy them pie. Or don't. Value their input of the manuscript and their feedback. Ask them for help on continuity, sentence flow, and content. Ask for help with spelling, grammar, and punctuation. And write their verbal constructive criticisms down so you can reflect on them later. Lastly, become this person for your writing community.


No matter what, just keep writing!



Writing Prompt Forty-Three

Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Review: The Mermaid's Sister



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's the cover art that got me. It was mysterious, playful, and simplistically beautiful. Just like the story within that cover. So entranced by the cover was I that I didn't realize the genre I was reading - namely that of young or new adult. Not a bad surprise, I assure you.

Step into the wilds of a deep country mountainside where an elder woman cleans dishes in the cement sink of her little cottage tucked away between chicken coops and gardens. Healing concoctions boil in a kettle over the fire in the hearth, the laughter of two young girls waft in on the breeze, and with it, the jingle of homemade wind chimes and clanging pots. A stork, an apple, a conch shell, and a witch bring this little family together (and keep it apart) in a life born from fairytales. There's love, there's mermaids, and there's jealousy. Gypsies, dragons, potions, and abduction! This quaint little story will have you mesmerized until the end.

Carrie Anne Noble's debut novel is really quite perfect as it blends some predictability with many surprises, folklore with old England's fae world. Her writing style captures the imagination almost immediately and whisks the mind away in rapid form. She's a talent worth watching in the future. Although it didn't keep me so entirely raptured that I was remiss to put it down, the book maintained my attention entirely and acted as a wonderful escape from my daily routine.

I recommend The Mermaid's Sister to any who enjoy a little magic in their lives, but most definitely to young women who struggle with boys, sisters, responsibility, and courage. So kick up your feet and cozy up to a warm fire with this pleasant tale and let your imagination soar!

Spotlight: The Great Artist by Martha Magenta


We sit and watch the perfect day's end.
Pageants of color as the sun descends,
Floats precarious with sanguine glow.
Flourishes of light, love and life bestows,
Paints the evening sky with wanton hues,
Crimson, scarlet, yellow, and blue.
The flamboyant artist thus emblazons
Heaven, then dips below the horizon.
Painting iridescent waves of the sea
That dance and glisten in a final spree,
While dark shadows stretch like lazy dreamers
Basking in deep red sunset streamers.
Now as darkness spreads like indigo dye,
A myriad stars adorn the night sky.

© Martha Magenta

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Find Martha Here:

Writing Prompt Forty-Two

Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Spotlight Jens Morrison, Part Two


Response to Writing Prompt Forty-One: It's days like this, with snow blanketing roof tops and threads of smoke slipping out of chimneys, that I remember why I left this godforsaken place.

“The humans moved into an area they were unprepared for. Our lands. It is suitable for us, not their weak kind. But they bring fire, and furs, and force themselves upon our land. They’re terrible hunters, but they make up for it in swarms. They drive out our prey and we have to move from our ancestral lands. That is why I left. Why ‘we’ left.

“But no more. I return today to drive their kind from this land once and for all. We Winter Elfs, sons and daughters of Skadi, will have our lands back, and no man shall stand against our wrath. Athelda stands with us today and Nyk has declared our cause shall be victorious in the end.

We are righteous hunters and this plague of vermin have become our quarry. Let none escape. Let none return.” – Anonymous

This speech was heard by the first march of Skadi in the dead of winter while preparing an attack that would wipe humanity completely off the tundras of the north.

Human historians say they were primarily victorious because of their timing and the low population of human settlers. Winter Elf Lore Masters recount a different story, claiming the fight was devastating for both sides, but with the will of the gods on their side, they came out victorious in the end.

While human historians cannot deny the longevity of the Winter Elf population, they do occasionally call into question their capacity for accurate memories.

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Response to Writing Prompt Thirty One: Her hands, hidden inside gloves, tucked away from the world, were scarred from hours beneath flames.

They had called her a fool, mocked her for her craft. Yet, who but she had defended them when the Inquisition came to town? Who but she was capable of such a feat? Mastering the flames of the Mage was difficult, and cost her dearly, but it was a necessary step on her path. On step closer to eradication of the Holy Church.

This was not a goal that her village shared, of course. Most of them were devout. And many more would have run her out of town all together long ago, were she not the daughter of their lauded leader. So in a way, she supposed she had brought the Inquisition down on them in the first place.

But still, a fool she was not. And a witch would only be her title for so much longer. None she had met could stand before her walls of flame, and she doubted the Church had any among them that would even attempt to best her, after seeing a demonstration of her raw power.


Yes, she was mighty, and they were weak. She was in the right, for might makes right, as they taught her.


An unexpected noise distracted her from her reverie.


"Samantha? Is that you? Woodlum? Anyone?" she called to the void. She had sent the 'help' home for the night, hours ago. Nobody should be in her private manor. Yet there it was again, a sound out of place.


She moved towards it, a ball of flame in her hand.


"Do those who serve the light, hide in shadows?" she laughed uneasily to herself. Surely they did not think an assassination would be successful. Her power was supreme. They should be worshiping her as their new goddess. Yes, when she claimed victory, that's exactly what she would do.


Again, a rattling in the distance. She smirked. Just the wind. Surely they wouldn't be so loud in their attempts to come in through the window.


As she thought, the window was barred shut from the inside. No way they had come in. The rattling was there again. Just the wind.


As she returned to her chambers, she noticed nothing out of place. She was more than a little relieved, having still believed an enemy to be lurking in the shadows. As she sat down and opened her book, she came to another realization. She had been wrong. There was a note, addressed to her. It was in her book, on the page she'd left open.

"Turn yourself in. The University is still open to you. Should you take the life of even a single man more however, this will not be the case. This was such a simple thing, imagine if I had meant ill.


Signed, Inquisitor Rodrick"

The fire in her eyes immediately went out. Her skin turned immediately pale, and she realized she had greatly overestimated herself. Or that she had underestimated the Inquisition. Either way, she could not stay here any longer.


She left that night, and told not soul. Her father missed her greatly, and the town was sent to search for her, but they did not find her. She also did not kill another man, Church, or not, for the remainder of her days. How long that was, I leave to your imagination.

*******************************************************

Response to Writing Prompt Thirty Five: Following a ladder into a dark cavern is a grand idea until someone removes the ladder.

But that's what I'd done. And that's what I knew would happen. "The pay is worth it" I kept telling myself. But I didn't like the looks of this cavern, and nothing, not even money, could set my nerves straight.

As I followed him, I listened for the telltale signs of the beast we were hunting. Then I remembered I had no idea what it sounded like, and just started listening for anything.

"I still don't understand why you brought ME on this trip. I don't know a thing about arak...no..." I whispered.

"Arachnitaur" my host graciously corrected me. "I needed someone with street smarts, and a sly wit." He replied. 

That certainly didn't sound like me. But it doesn't really matter to me anyway. 1 gold coin is enough to buy a small mansion. He offered me 20!

"Do you think we'll find this ar...thing soon? I'm getting kinda hungry" I said, louder than I should have.

I stopped, grabbed my chest, and screamed. In terror, I tried to turn and run, but couldn't move. A green energy surrounded me. I was being pulled up and away and slowly turned. On the floor, still writhing in agony...was my body.

Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw a thing. A...one of those. The upper body of a beautiful woman, and the lower body of a giant spider. It smiled at me with sharp venomous fangs.

"You're not the only hungry one." she?...it said. 

It then proceeded to wrap my (My?) body up in silk, and seemingly kissed my neck. I felt it. It was a bite. More agony, and then nothing.

"You see, Arachnitaur females are quite powerful magically, but they are very solitary creatures. I have had dealings with this one for quite a while. The promise of village idiots to fuel her magic, and fill her belly, gives me free access to her magical prowess." my benefactor chimed in.

"But...how do I use my money if I'm dead?" I asked, not fully comprehending my doom.

"Oh don't worry. We'll cross the River Styxx, and pull you out from the other world soon enough" he lied.

"Are you done playing with my food?" It asked.

"Quite" was the last thing I heard, before she pursed her lips, and sucked me into oblivion.

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A word from Jens - 

Greetings from Vesevia!

I'm a writer of short stories. I can't manage anything more than that, but I like most of the short stories I can manage to write. I like Scifi, Fantasy, Mythology, and everything in between.

Everything I write is set in my fictional world, Vesevia. It has magic, technology, various races, gods (that interact with the world on a daily basis), etc. The setting spans a great deal of time, from stone to space.

I usually inject a bit of humor into my writings as well. One of the gods of Vesevia, is Bacon. The god of Bacon. Bacon created the Piglings, cannibalistic pigmen that chase each other, and especially outsiders, with butcher knives.

Also, I had a story featured in a magazine! +TYPEFACE Literary Magazine ran my story "A Girl With No Hiccups" in it's first issue. See more of Jens' featured work in the Spotlight!


Writing Prompt Forty-One

Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Writing Prompt Forty

Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Spotlight: Surveillance by Mary T. Bradford


Response to Writing Prompt Thirty-Three: A blue canal. Three boats. White marble walls. And you.

It’s my turn to watch the suspicious goings on down at the canal, like a stalk out. Three boats and two barges are docked. At least from my vantage point I can see the main boat in question. It is big, a cruiser style. The canal is wide enough for barges and the like to pass each other without harm to either.

It was meant to be Jackie’s turn to be here, but she swore off sick. I bet there’s a new season of something starting on telly. She’s always hooked on some programme. Plus she doesn’t like water. I know, stupid you’re thinking for a member of the force to be afraid of water. But you see that’s just it, I’m no cop, and neither is Jackie, she’s my mate.

It’s a beautiful night. The moon is out and the smooth water reflects off the white walls of a nearby bridge, marble like. This part of the canal is quiet, not much traffic passing on the bridge. Even the leaves on the trees are still. A beautiful night for a walk, a romantic one. Imagine, down on the canal path, hand in hand, with moonlight and leftover heat from the summer’s day. Just a cardigan thrown over your shoulders to ward off any chill.

I should get out my pen and write this down, I could use it in one of my stories later, never know when the muse strikes. So I do. I get out my trusty jotter and take notes on how the water is, the moon is, the noise surrounding me. I smell the air, just to cover all the senses you see, as a writer I need to do this. Only curry chips and fried cod wafts towards my nostrils. I’d forgotten the burger and chip shop not far away. A good spot for the barges to dock in fairness. Apart from the chipper, there’s also a small restaurant and tavern back from the canal bank.

You will never guess where I’m hiding. Not in the bushes or in a car but on a barge. It was Jackie’s idea to keep an eye on the boat I mentioned earlier since it pulled up three days ago. She reckoned it was belonging to a drug lord, I kid you not. She said she recognised the logo on its side. Since I own this barge, inherited it from my father, she insisted we watch the goings on in case there was a raid or somewhat. Then we would have all the details for the police and we would be in line for a reward.
I thought she was daft. That was until she showed me a picture from a Sunday tabloid the exact same logo on a yacht that was owned by you guessed it, a drug baron. Imagine having a drug baron pull up to your local berthing spot and causing all sorts of grief in the community? So I felt duty bound to do some stalking. Well I don’t want my barge involved in some smuggling ring or stolen for their getaway if the heist they are planning goes wrong. Not that we know they are planning any. But just in case.

I can hear the sing-song started inside The Blue Canal. Give it another half an hour and they will spill out from the pub singing and joined arms. I enjoy a good sing-song. Especially with the other boat owners. There’s a good community amongst us canal folk. Sometimes on soft summer nights like tonight, we would share barbeques on the banks and tell a few stories and sing. I should organise a night soon, when the drug baron’s boat has moved on.

Here they come. Oh I see Danny and Kate, they own the other barge like myself and there’s Tony with Amanda. They all seem in good spirits, laughing and joking. How they will thank me when they find out how close their boats were to being robbed by a top druggie. Do you call them that any more, druggie?

Well look who is out after them, the couple off the boat under question if you understand me. They are shouting to Danny and Tony, something about joining them for a nightcap. Well, I never, the four of them are going to go on the cruiser. It must be beautiful inside. Imagine Amanda and Kate boasting about being on the cruiser when the job goes wrong. They will get better interviews in the media than me and I after forfeiting my nights to keep watch. It doesn’t seem fair. I am thirsty, sitting here alone. Well, if they are willing to go and party with a boat full of suspected dealers, than so am I. After all there’s safety in numbers.

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Writing Prompt Thirty-Nine

Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Review: The Pirates!: In An Adventure With Scientists



My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever met a pirate? Then how do you know if what is said about them is true? They swash buckles and ooze charm, seduce women and pillage merchants. They are diabolically intelligent, black hearted, romantic, and handsome. Or so we're told. But what about more important things like ham and beard growing and sea shanties? Sea monsters and poems and wooing mermaids?

Gideon Defoe is something of a comedic genius. He pulls literary and historic characters into his world of pirating shenanigans led by the ever commanding Pirate Captain - a man known for his nautical prowess and indefatigable problem solving skills. Any short comings that he most certainly does not have are made up by the closest member of his crew, namely the Pirate with a Scarf. It is a motley crew, no doubt, comprised of men from all corners of Europe and even one lady who has escaped the confines of a Victorian England parlor. Oddly, for pirates, they do seem so spend much of their time on land versus the water, but don't tell the Pirate Captain I've said so.

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists is the first installment of five in this novelette series. Tricked by the Pirate Captain's arch-frenemy, Black Bellamy, into believing a certain ship was loaded with gold the pirate crew run into not-yet-famed scientist Charles Darwin on his journey to great discoveries aboard his ship the HMS Beagle. Destroying it in the process and taking on the new passenger. Determined to help Darwin in his quest the pirates some how end up in America at P.T. Barnum's circus. I'll let you figure out just how.

Though packed with nonsensical logic and romping adventure where at least one person will be run through by the end, the footnotes are filled with tidbits of information which are often informative, but mostly loaded with facts about Defoe's motherland that otherwise would be deemed as useless knowledge. They add to the depth of the book and remind the reader that though in the Victorian era where pirating is coming to an end, the story truly is timeless and without a concrete era. Also, it's been turned into a 3D stop motion movie.

Scientists was my first introduction to the series and one which fueled a purchase frenzy to gather the other books as quickly as possible. For sensible chuckles and a break from everyday life, these books are the perfect dosage of humor, history, adventure, and the appreciation of one man's ability to intertwine them all together. I highly recommend this series to any and all.

The Pirate! Series:

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