Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Bibliophile Collective Tuesday – Sharing a Short Story – Biker & Kitten

January 24, 2023
mandyevebarnett


Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

The solitary rumble of a motorbike engine echoed along the back alley, the bright headlight chasing the jet-black night into the shadows. A sliver of a moon gave no illumination, so darkness enveloped the alley the instant the bike passed. Gravel crunched under the vehicle’s wheels, and exhaust fumes were added to the garbage bin aroma. The night air blew a chill breeze along the alley’s length blowing and spiraling detritus.

Dressed all in black leather accessorized with silver studs and chains, the rider was muscled and bearded. Large hands gripped the handlebars, tattoos across each finger and wrist. The jacket hid many more inked designs all over his body but bore the emblem of the gang’s name. His hacking smokers cough broke the midnight stillness and he spat on the ground. Another night of drinking and perceived nuisance under his belt, he smiled. His bike gang had a reputation and did everything they could to uphold it. Tonight, was no different. A brawl ended in a trashed downtown bar, with bottles smashed, knives drawn, and blood splattered on the floor. His compatriots made a hasty exit riding in a different directions to avoid capture once sirens were heard.

He switched off the motorcycle engine and silence descended in the alley, a low rumble of traffic on the highway across the hill the only sound. There were no lights on in the houses backing onto the alley, but he knew a few eyes were watching him. His neighbours were too scared to approach him, his attire and appearance deterring any interference or conversation. As he pushed the bike into a dilapidated garage a mewing sound to his right made him stop.  It was too dark to see where the source of the sound came from, and from what. Flicking a light switch the garage flooded with light making him squint and blink. One his eyes adjusted he looked round the cluttered garage, full of bike parts, beer cans, posters and scattered tools. Standing still he waited for another sound and didn’t have to wait long. Another stronger mewing sound allowed him to focus on a direction. He crouched down, peering into the shadows and lifting garbage and spare bike parts to one side. Two wide blue eyes peered back at him from under a discarded pizza box.

Holding out one hand, the man coaxed the little creature from it’s hiding place. A bundle of dirty cobweb covered black fur crept toward him. The kitten fit in the palm of the man’s hand, where it could easily be crushed in a second with little effort. Cupping his hand, the man lifted the kitten up toward his face. They contemplated each other for a moment – giant and miniature. The kitten mewed again and tipped its head to one side. The man’s grin revealed broken teeth and a gold filling.

            “Where did you come from, you little runt?”

With no answer, the man closed the garage door, grabbed his keys and walked through a doorway into a patch of brown dirt. A fire pit with old deck chairs surrounding it and more discarded beer cans and bottles littered the area. No grass could survive the scuffles, play fighting and urinating of the gang’s party nights. Unlocking a door, the man carried the kitten into a dim and untidy kitchen. Take out cartons and boxes were on every surface along with more alcohol containers, some full, others empty or half full. The room’s aroma was of stale beer, sweat and something indiscernible. Swiping his arm across the table, the man placed the kitten down and pulled open the fridge door. The interior light pierced the dimness showing dust and dirt on every surface. Pushing items aside the man found a carton containing chicken and pulled it apart before placing it in front of the animal. It sniffed, licked and then ate the offered morsel. Then looked up for more.

            “Hungry then eh? Here have some more.”

Guileless eyes watched the man place more shredded chicken on the table, and once again it was eaten with relish.

            “Now, what do I do with you?”

The kitten brushed up against the man’s hairy knuckles and mewed as he placed a dish of water beside the kitten. He watched as it lapped the liquid, then used its paws to wash its face.

            “Now, that’s darn cute – shit what am I doing?”

Unable to put the small creature back out in the alleyway to fend for itself, the man took it to bed with him, where it curled up against his tattooed neck, began to purr and slowly fell asleep. That night both lives changed – a safe haven for the kitten and a softness entering the man’s brutish heart.

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Tracking Blog Readers

January 5, 2023
mandyevebarnett


As writers and bloggers, we are interested in knowing where are followers hail from. You will see on my blog there is a flag counter on the side bar. This enables me to see where my blog is read. There are also several other options on the site, that allow me to know the number of visits per country, and how many visitors from each.

For example, in 2022 – 206 different countries have visited my site

Why should we track our blog readers?

1. Understand Your Visitors Better

Tracking blog traffic sources can help you figure out where your visitors are coming from and which platforms, they use so you can learn more about them and send them targeted messages.

2. You Can Measure Your Market Campaigns

If the goal of a campaign is to generate traffic, you can track the different traffic sources to see how effective it is.

3. For Best Results, Concentrate on Channels

You can improve your results by concentrating more on the channel that brought the most traffic to your blog.

4. Topics for New Content

People from various channels may be interested in different topics, so reviewing your traffic sources for each blog will help you come up with new content ideas.

5. Identify Traffic Gap

You can look for channels that aren’t performing well and can optimize them.

How do you track your readers?

Bibliophile’s & Wordsmith’s What Do You Want On This Blog in 2023?

December 20, 2022
mandyevebarnett


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As we come to the close of the year – 2022 – I would like to know what you would like to see on this blog in 2023. I can keep the same regularly themed twice weekly posts, or do something completely different. I am always looking to engage readers and writers alike in my blog community.

Shall I continue with Bibliophile Collective Tuesday’s and Wordsmith Collective Thursday’s or change it up?

What do you want to see, read, interact about?

Is there something I have not covered or included you wish I did?

I am open to suggestions.

It’s up to you!

Bibliophile Collective Tuesday – Prequel Announcement – Rython Series

December 13, 2022
mandyevebarnett


Well, my NaNoWriMo manuscript is sitting and percolating in December. Many writers would take this time to relax, but that nagging voice of a new story was too difficult for me to resist. So, I am over six thousands words into a prequel to The Rython Kingdom and Rython Legacy series.

As many of you know the first novella, The Rython Kingdom was supposed to be a standalone, however I was contacted by several readers pleading for the ‘next’ book. This is obviously a dream come true for any writer and of course, I obliged with Rython Legacy.

I thought this series was then complete, until I was interviewed on a podcast show and the subject of this specific tale come up. Through those discussions the seed of an idea was sown. I can announce that a prequel is in the making. The title – Malgraf’s Dawning. For those of you who have not read these novella’s this is the name of the evil witch in the story. It will reveal the emergence of the witch from child to evil avenger.

I am asking for your help in creating the cover – as you can see each book has a similar image but the colours are different.

What colour(s) do you think this prequel should have on the book cover?

Your suggestions and comments are welcome.

Thank you to all my readers who made this series possible.

Bibliophile Collective Tuesday – Books Most Frequently Made into Movies

December 6, 2022
mandyevebarnett


There are numerous movie adaptions of novels, and many we know well, due to their multiple adaptations. This is a list of the most frequently adapted stories. I also noted the first publication date, which shows how particular stories hold our imaginations, over and over. These span from the 15th century to the 19th century.

Hamlet Originally published 1599-1601 Adapted over 31 times

Pride and Prejudice Originally published 28th January 1813 Adapted 28 times

Frankenstein Originally published 1st January 1818 Adapted over 37 times

A Christmas Carol Originally published 19th December 1843 Adapted over 44 times

The Three Musketeers Originally published July 1844 Adapted over 10 times

Les Miserables Originally published 1862 Adapted over 50 times

Alice in Wonderland Originally published November 1865 Adapted over 20 times

Sherlock Holmes Originally published October 14th 1892 Adapted over 44 times

Dracula Originally published May 26th 1897 Adapted over 62 times

And Then There Were Non Originally published 6th November 1939 Adapted over 10 times

It is the magic of a gripping, relatable and empathic narrative that makes these stories so captivating. No matter how many times we read them, or even watch them, there is a deep seated attachment to the characters, their plight and how they develop within the story.

We all have our favorites from these titles. They have become traditional, a part of society’s fabric and will continue to do so in one way or another, I am sure. As an author, I can only hope one of my stories will be as well loved and cherished as these author’s work.

Which one is your favorite?

For me it is Alice as I love the delightful world inhabited with surreal beings.

Blog at WordPress.com.