Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

NaNoooooo Eve…

October 31, 2013

Flagitious – definition: 1. shamefully wicked, as persons, actions, or times; 2. heinous or flagrant, as a crime


For those of us embarking on the great National Novel Writing Month, we are going to be shamefully wicked towards our nearest and dearest for thirty days. Embroiled in frantically writing at least 1667 words a day, there is no question housework and other ‘family’ orientated duties will fall by the wayside.

Tonight is our last night of freedom – well until midnight anyway! How will you spend yours? 

I will be taxi driver for my daughter as she participates in her favorite celebration of the year, dressed as a Dragon Lady. This means I have the evening to set up my NaNoWriMo no-go zone. A NaNo calendar will be stuck on my desk, the story outline will take pride of place to one side of my keyboard and a large bottle of wine will be chilling in the fridge. Fuzzy socks and a comfy cardigan will await use in the early hours when the heating is low and a bowl of snacks remains unopened until hunger overcomes. Easy meals are piled up in the freezer for the family to cook.

What are your rituals for NaNoWriMo?


My Rumble soft toy will look over me from his vantage point and will surely join the creatures of the underneath tonight. Don’t forget to grab your own copy of his book..

Have a fun and safe Halloween...


Some Videos on Writing

October 30, 2013

An extra post to get us in the mood for Halloween and NaNoWriMo…enjoy.

Jennifer Weiner, Author


Since the eve of NaNoWriMo starts in just over 4 hours here on the east coast of the USA, I thought some quick tips on writing would be good for all of us. I also want to share a collection of documents I’ve gathered while preparing (or pretending to prepare) for this adventure that November promises.  You can take a look at all the documents here, and download (if I understand correctly).  Documents for writers assembled by me.

Stephen King On Short Stories and More

Just because you can’t do anything about writing fiction and not talk about the horror master!

Tips on Writing A Book on A Dead Line

It even mentions NaNoWriMo towards the end! Some pretty basic tips, but the day before the day before we start this craziness!

Top Ten Writing Rules From Famous Writers

Some pretty well-known “rules”, but a great refresher for me…

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Contentious Novels…

October 30, 2013

Contentious – definition: 1. tending to cause argument or strife; quarrelsome; 2. causing, involving, or characterized by argument or controversy

Throughout literary history there have been contentious novels. Some, in our modern day thinking, are not contentious at all but we have to bear in mind the culture and beliefs that were present at the time the books were released.

1. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain


Huckleberry Finn was published in 1884, by Mark Twain. The reason it was banned? On social grounds. Although the references and treatment of African Americans in the novel reflect the time about which it was written, some critics thought such language inappropriate for study and reading in schools and libraries. The Concord Public Library first banned the book in 1885, calling it “trash suitable only for the slums.”

Today it is thought to be a classic.

2. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl


This book is the diary of a young girl, Anne Frank, as she experienced the Nazi occupation. It is an important work from World War II.

In the book Anne describes how she and her family hide from the occupying forces and are eventually discovered and sent to a concentration camp. The reason it was banned? Certain passages were considered “sexually offensive,” and also that the tragic nature of the book, was felt to be a “real downer.” An unthinkable view to today’s beliefs.

I remember reading this book in school and absolutely loved it even though I felt so sorry for Anne, who was near my own age when she wrote it and I read it.

3. Arabian Nights


A collection of tales, which has been banned by Arab faction governments as vice and sin. Various editions of The Arabian Nights were also banned by the US Government under the Comstock Law of 1873. The law makes it illegal to send any “obscene” materials through the mail,

4. Awakening – Kate Chopin


First issued in 1899, Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening  tells the famous tale of Edna Pontellier. She left her family, committed adultery, and began a journey to rediscover her true self as an artist. Such actions were not easy, nor socially acceptable, especially in the time the book was published. Fierce criticism of the book as being immoral and scandalous meant Kate Chopin never wrote another novel. Today The Awakening is considered an important work in feminist literature.

5. Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath


This is the only novel by Sylvia Plath. It is famous for its shocking insight into her mind and art, and also because it is a coming-of-age story. The narrative is told in the first person by Esther Greenwood, who struggles with her mental illness. The reason for banning it – the suicide attempts detailed in the book made it a target for book censors.

The book has been repeatedly banned and challenged for what is seen as its controversial content of sexual material and it supposedly advocating an “objectionable” philosophy of life. Other reasons stated for banning the novel were that the book was poor-quality literature which stressed suicide, illicit sex, violence and hopelessness.

Do you have a favorite ‘banned’ book?

Do you agree any of the above novels should be banned?

Haughty Characters…

October 29, 2013

Haughty – definition: disdainfully proud; snobbish; scornfully arrogant

Today I’m sharing an excerpt from my novel, The Twesome Loop. Miss. Coombes may be old but she certainly has Brett’s measure.

Brett glanced through the door, berating himself for not shutting it. He needed to ensure he was not observed writing down the daughter’s particulars. Confident no-one was in the corridor outside he quickly wrote the name and address down and put the slip of paper in his top pocket. Breathing a sigh of relief he then noticed the file was not for Mr. Collin at all, but for the senior partner, Mr. Forbes.

“I’ll just be a minute, Dawn, I have a file for Mr. Forbes. If Mr. Collin arrives, please tell him his files are catalogued and ready for him.”

“Yes, Mr. Shaw. When you return will you need dictation?”

“Not now, I have more important matters to attend to.”

He certainly didn’t have time for a quickie, bimbo’s like Dawn were a penny a dozen. He had more crucial things to do, like finding out as much as he could about Miss Lynch without raising suspicion. Brett walked down the corridor towards the senior partner’s office; it was difficult keeping his excitement in check until he turned to see Miss Coombes shriveled form hunched over her desk. She always gave Brett the shivers looking at her wizened gargoyle like form; she must have been ninety if a day. All his conniving to get rid of her had failed as old man Forbes was completely adverse to change so he kept this relic guarding his door. But Brett now thought this may well be the day he not only managed to further his career but also got his hands on a substantial amount of money.

“Miss Coombes is Mr. Forbes in his office?”

“Of course he is, Mr. Shaw, where else would he be at this time of day?”

Brett nodded and rolled his eyes as he turned to gently tap on the oak door. A muffled voice commanded him enter. Forbes sat behind a dark oak desk, which gleamed with years of polishing. The aroma of Cuban cigar smoke hung in the air.

“Ah, Mr. Forbes, Sir, I found this file mixed with Mr. Collin’s documentation.”

“Thank you….Shaw isn’t it? Let me see. Ah yes, the Lynch file. Give it to Miss Coombes she can catalog it.”

“Certainly, Sir, pardon me for being so bold, but is the family known to you?”

“Actually, yes, they were very old family friends. It was a sad departure only weeks apart but it often happens that way with old married couples, you know. Why do you ask?”

“Just curious, Sir, the name seemed familiar.”

“You may have come across the name in the newspaper. The Lynch’s were very involved in their community.”

“That must be it, Sir; well I won’t take up any more of your time.”

Now Brett had a place to start his investigations. The local newspaper records would be full of information he could use. He would drive to the Lynch house tonight and watch for a while. He might even get to see the daughter. If she wasn’t too abhorrent he could be on easy street in no time.

Do you have a haughty character?

Twesome Loop 002

Quotations of Indignation…

October 28, 2013

Indignation – definition: a strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, or insulting

I’m sharing several great quotes about indignation – enjoy!


No one lies so boldly as the man who is indignant.  Friedrich Nietzsche

You must learn day by day, year by year to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens.  Ethel Barrymore.

Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.  Baruch Spinoza
Get free from negative qualities like violence, anger and hatred. We should never be indignant and resentful.  Atharva Veda

Talking of quotes – which is your favorite?

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