January Book of the Month: The Child Thief

The Child Thief is not a book I thought I would read. While it does fit into the general category of books I like, I actually hadn’t known of its existence until recently.. The Child Thief was introduced to me by one of my gamer friends who swears by this book.

My friend and I were talking about books one day when she told me her favorite book is The Child Thief. It is a dark fantasy novel. I haven’t read many of these.

She talked it up a great deal, then came Christmas. I opened the package and there it was. The Child Thief was waiting for me to open its pages and discover the magical mysteries within.

So What’s this book about?

The Child Thief is a darker tale of Peter Pan. Now if you know about the original fairy tales then you know they are all pretty dark and not really meant for children. Well, maybe they were way back when but not today.

The Author, Brom, was inspired by the original Peter Pan tale and so this story was born. The Child Thief takes another dark spin on the classic tale of the youthful lad and brings him into the modern world. Here is the blurb:

My friend did warn me that children die in this book. I am giving you, my readers, the same warning. I will be honest though, I was really bracing myself to be triggered. It’s the reason why I didn’t start the book until after the holidays.

What’s my take on the book?

Despite my reservations about The Child Thief triggering me, I was pleasantly surprised when I got to the finish line and wasn’t triggered once. There were moments, however, where I felt a bit disgusted or angry at certain events. Several of the characters definitely left me frustrated – but in a good way.

The good way meaning…

The book was superbly written. When I got mad at a character its because I was supposed to. Everything I felt while reading this book was meant to be there. I really commend the author for writing such a riveting tale.

One thing he did that I am so impressed with was taking the descriptions of child abuse right to the brink but not going overboard with the details. I mean the prologue itself started with a young girl bracing herself to be raped by who was only referred to as “the man” when Peter saves her.

Brom does a wonderful job of describing what the girl is thinking and how she is feeling. He shows us how she is trying to protect herself in a hopeless situation by looking out at the stars and wishing she could fly among them.

Now those of you who have never suffered through this sort of thing are probably thinking that’s a terrible thing and know you will never read it. I understand. But for me, the first few pages were a testament to how far I’ve come in my own healing. I read the words, felt the girl’s fear, with every fiber in me I felt her fear. But I didn’t waver. I didn’t get the shakes and I didn’t have nightmares.

Maybe that’s because Peter saved the girl and I knew he would. I expected him to. Had it gone further and Peter didn’t save her until after, maybe I would have had a different opinion.

Brom also illustrated all of the pictures in the book. Just gorgeous artwork!

But Peter isn’t the Hero

Yes, Peter saves these kids from their abusers/attackers. And yes, Peter isn’t completely evil. Brom does an excellent job of portraying Peter – and other characters – in a multidimensional light.

Would you like to know where the Captain fits in all of this? Well, without giving away any spoilers, he’s not as evil as most stories would have you believe. Nor is Peter as innocent.

No, for me Nick was the hero. He went through the classic hero’s journey. He started off a scared but stronger-than-he-thinks character. He saw himself as weak and useless but also wouldn’t stand by and watch drug dealers take over his home.

When he gets to Avalon (Neverland), he really struggles with himself more than anything else. He goes through a few transformations actually. He is what I call the reluctant hero. He doesn’t want to be a Devil. He doesn’t want to fight someone else’s war.

But he also can’t stand by and watch others die. Through it all Nick discovers that he isn’t as lost as he believed and he fights to get back home to his mother.

My final Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. When I chose to read it I really had no idea what to expect. I had listened to my friend and read a few other articles on the book but I wasn’t sure how it would affect me personally.

What made me decide to read it was the author. As a writer myself who turns abused children into heroes I really wanted to give this book a chance. I wanted to see through the eyes of another such writer. It paid off tremendously.

This novel also actually helped me personally. I’m not talking about the abuse stuff either. I have been struggling with mom stuff. I have had a lot of anxiety around my boys getting older. Adam just turned 17 and Conner just turned 12.

Reading this novel though helped give me some perspective on getting older. It’s a would I rather kind of thing. Would I rather they live forever on an enchanted island but they have to spend forever fighting for their lives. Or would I rather they grow up with me at their side with a better chance of living happier lives?

The Child Thief has earned its place on my book shelf and I will definitely be reading it again!

Thanks so much for reading!

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Short Story Time – The Shadow Man

Short Story: The Shadow Man by MK

Before Halloween I posted two short stories about the Braye Sisters. This is the book that I am currently working on to publish this year. It is a collection of short stories about these two sisters and their experiences with the supernatural.

The Shadow Man is one such story. I have come to really enjoy the short story as a way to help me really hone in on what I want to say in my writing. It has been a challenge but I am learning so much.

So enjoy this new short story!

Anna, 1991

          During the summer of ’91, Anna turned 14 years old. For her birthday, her aunt got her a new kitten. Actually, Aunt Francis had taken one of the dogs to the vet and there was a woman there about to put her kitten to sleep because she couldn’t take him with her and no one wanted him. She was crying but Aunt Francis, being the bleeding heart for animals, decided it was a perfect time to bring home a new kitten.

Over the Spring, Anna’s cat Clyde had died. She had been very lonely without a cat to love. Then her aunt brings home an adorable 6 month old kitten with long grey fur and a big bushy tail. She loved her new kitten and named him Blue because in certain light his grey fur looked blue.

On a beautiful sunny day in August, two weeks after Anna’s birthday, she was playing with Blue in the family room when she saw out of the corner of her eye, Aunt Francis clutching a board. Anna instinctively looks over at her aunt. This woman, who is tough as nails and fears nothing and no one, looks like she’s just seen the Grim Reaper.

Fear washes over Aunt Francis’s face as Anna watches her throw the board into the closet. The closet under the stairs is a deep closet and Aunt Francis chucks that thing like she’s throwing a football. She slams the closet door so hard it makes Anna jump.

Concerned for her aunt, she starts to ask her what is wrong when the woman looks sternly but still with fear in her eyes at Anna. “NEVER, EVER, touch that board! Do you hear me?” Anna finds herself unable to speak and just shakes her head. That’s not good enough for her aunt though. She walks closer to Anna with a much sterner look in her green eyes and says again, “Do you hear me?”

Without hesitation, Anna answers “Yes Ma’am” because she is more afraid of her aunt than that board but she also knows that whatever was able to frighten this hardened, strict, and fierce woman, isn’t something she wants to know about.

Anna doesn’t think about that board anymore after that. She pushes it out of her mind and goes about playing with her cat every day.  She adores Blue. He sleeps with her every night and plays with her every day. Sometimes at night he wakes her up to play at which point she sends him out of her room but mostly, he sleeps by her head every night. Blue makes her feel safe. Her favorite part about him is after her aunt goes on one of her tirades and yells at her calling her every name in the book, Blue lays with Anna while she cries into her pillow.

No one else gets to see Anna cry. Since her sister was sent back to her father’s house two years ago, Anna has felt very alone. She still gets to see her sister but only once a month. She has her brother but they have a different relationship. Her brother is the goofy one. With him, she either gets really annoyed at him following her around all the time or she laughs and goofs off with him.

But with Blue, she can cry. She can let out her sadness and he lets her lay her head down on his body while purring in her ear. She grows closer and closer to this amazing creature and as the months go by, he becomes her confidant and her best friend.

One particular night in November, Anna is getting ready for bed. Blue is usually a very calm cat but tonight he is meowing loudly and constantly. Anna is very confused by his behavior. Then, he suddenly jumps off the bed and starts scratching at the door.

This is very odd behavior for Blue. He loves getting ready for bed with her. He is always curled up by her pillow before she even gets into bed for the night. Tonight he is restless and she doesn’t understand why.

Anna can’t help but feel a little hurt that he doesn’t want to sleep next to her tonight. She had a rough day at school and fighting with Aunt Francis earlier didn’t help matters. All she wants to do is curl up with her cat and drift off to sleep at the sound of his purring.

She doesn’t want to let him leave the room but he’s meowing so much and clawing at the door that she can’t help but to grant his wish to leave. Anna walks over and opens the door, a little frustrated with Blue. In that split second that she opens the door, Blue runs out so fast, it’s like he’s a cheetah but Anna doesn’t even register that he has gone because she is face to face with a man.

Or what looks like a man. Frozen in fear for what seems like an eternity, the man-shaped shadow stands before her, not moving. Anna observes the fedora on his head and it looks like he is wearing a long trench coat. Her immediate thought is of Humphrey Bogart. It’s silly and irrational but the shadow looks like he just stepped out of Casablanca.

He just stands there. This dark shadow of a man. Pitch black. No face. No hands. No feet. She just notices the shape of a hat and a coat. There is a head but no other features. There are pant legs of what looks like a business suit but nothing else.

She just notices as she looks down that her cat runs through the shadow and can vaguely hear him running down the stairs, still meowing. Now she knows why he was so restless. He was afraid. In that one moment Anna quickly regains function of her limbs and shuts her door, slamming it on the shadow.

Her breath quickens and for the first time she realizes that she had stopped breathing. Her heart is beating fast as she slowly backs away from the door, hoping that the shadow can’t come in. She is now painfully aware of how scary her big, wide mirror is as she glances at it on her right. She quickly looks away fearing that somehow either the shadow or Black Aggie is going to show in it.

In an attempt to calm herself, she whispers, “Anna get a grip. This isn’t real.” She says it but doesn’t really believe it. Anna jumps into her bed pulling the covers over her head like she did years ago in her old room. Now curled up in the fetal position under the blankets, Anna tries to think of happier things.

At that moment she remembers her Walkman under her pillow that she’s not supposed to listen to at night but does anyway. She puts her headphones on and pushes play. Like a Prayer plays loudly into her ears. She eventually falls asleep but never moves out of that fetal position.

So there you have it ladies and gents! What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks so much for reading!

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Conquering My Fears

A picture of my feet standing in a pile of fallen leaves.

2019 is the year that I conquer my fears about my writing and my blog. This is the year I take the leap and publish my first book. I’ve been too afraid in the past of exposing my writing. Starting a blog was the first step towards conquering the fear but then I was afraid to talk about my past and my mental health. Then I conquered that.

As I have evolved with my writing about my mental health over the past 3 1/2 years I now am faced with my creative writing. How will it be received? Will I succeed? Then there are the technical. How do I even go about publishing? I can publish on Amazon but what does that really look like? Will it get me anywhere?

I’ve struggled with these questions for the past several years. I started my first novel in 2006 while I was pregnant with my second child. I still haven’t finished that one.

But since blogging, I have learned so much. I have gained more confidence in my writing. I have already been conquering several fears around my ability to write as well as learning just how creative I can be within my writing.

That first novel I started back in 2006 still isn’t ready for public viewing. It is the most personal fictional story I’ve written – and I am still writing it. However, I have written other stories that I’m very proud of. I have even delved into writing poetry. That’s not something I ever thought I’d see myself write.

Conquering these fears about my writing have helped tremendously with my confidence in myself and my abilities. But it has been the technical and financial side of it that has caused me to not take the leap forward with my work.

Therefore, it is my goal for 2019 to finally tackle these fears of mine and move forward with publishing my first book. It isn’t finished yet but I am giving myself a deadline of June, 2019. I feel like this will be plenty of time to conquer my fears and actually finish what I started.

As to what kind of book its going to be, I am torn between two different ones. I have been asked by readers to write a book about my mental health journey. I want to write that book but I am not familiar with the semantics so this one needs more work.

The second, of course, to those who have read my writing, won’t be surprised by this: The second is going to be supernatural fiction. Actually it will be a collection of short stories centered around two sisters. I have already posted two of those stories here on the blog.

Due to WordPress’s new format for putting links in I cannot put them here so just check under the tab Writing then Short Stories.

Anyway, Thanks all for reading. This is a short post because honestly, I have lost my concentration. See you all next week.

Oh and if you are interested in any YouTube entertainment from my channel (which I also have to change) Check out two of my latest music videos:

A music video I put together celebrating the first year of Destiny 2

A music video I made dedicated to my favorite character in Destiny 2 who was killed off.

Thanks so much for reading!

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New Year, New Start (Happy New Year)

Happy New Year Everyone!!! It’s a new year which means a new start. I enjoyed my time off. I spent a lot of time with my boys and just relaxing. It was much needed.

By the end of 2018, I was pretty stressed out and had several months of different stressors that were beginning to take their toll on me. But now I am ready to start anew.

With the new year ringing in, I am looking forward to what 2019 will offer me. I am currently working out different goals for myself this year. One of those being changing my blog name.

Which is turning out to be a bit confusing. If anyone wants to offer advice I’m all ears. Like, do I change my domain first or do I purchase it first then change it with the host? Do I change it with both the host and wordpress? Yeah, the new year doesn’t guarantee rainbows and kittens but it’s worth it.

As for changing my blog name, I know many people love my name but I have been branded a mommy blogger. This doesn’t help me with my writing projects or the things I actually write about.

Yeah sure I write about my kids but I mostly write about my stories, mental health and music. So the new year means a new name for the blog. Trouble is coming up with a name that is going to wow me. So far, I haven’t settled on one.

writer's block johnny depp new year

Again, any suggestions from my readers would be welcome. I seem to really struggle in the name department, haha!

Another thing that I am really hopeful for in this new year is a possible job opportunity. As you all know I have been working as a hotline volunteer for a non-profit for a year now. Recently some paid positions have opened up that I believe I qualify for. Wish me luck!

The new year is also bringing me more motivation to actually finish and publish my first book. I have three in the works right now but I really want to publish – finally! Stay tuned for that.

The new year has not started on the right foot from the world’s perspective. We still have the same issues being dragged from one year to the next. But I am also hoping upon hope that this will not last.

I am hoping so very much that 2019 turns things around for all of us both individually and on the world stage. I am choosing to keep the faith that our new elected officials here in the states cracks down and gets the job done.

My Christmas was a good one and the new year was spent with my boys. I also made a new video to celebrate the anniversary of friendships I made. You can check it out on my YouTube below:

Song is Trouble by P!nk

It’s a cheeky little video I made full of action and cheer. I met these ladies playing a video game called Destiny. Well, this is the second, Destiny 2. So I put together a bunch of clips of us playing, dancing, and generally goofing off and put it to music:-)

Anyway, I am off to brainstorm more blog names and story ideas. How was your Holiday break? What are your plans for 2019? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks so much for reading!

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A Christmas Poem (and Happy Holidays to You)

a Christmas tree. A Christmas Poem. RockinRandomMom

This week I wrote a little poem for Christmas. I actually took some time with this because I wanted to write a Christmas story but couldn’t come up with any ideas. It turns out that I am good at reading them but not so good at writing them. 

So I thought, why not a Christmas poem? It took me a minute to get this right but I hope you enjoy the read!

A Christmas Poem

The season of Yule has begun

Spreading Christmas cheer to everyone.

The hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping

Decorating the tree and hanging the stockings.

But Christmas isn’t the only holiday that’s celebrated by families.

Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice (to name a few)

bring joy and happiness into view.

Yes, this is a wonderful time of year,

for family gatherings and holiday cheer.

For gift giving and delicious food

and sharing for all, the festive mood.

We sing songs and are merry.

While the snow falls, we fill our bellies,

with cookies and pies and all sorts of treats.

Then as we ring in the new year,

and say goodbye to the last.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Hope the New Year is a blast!

That’s my poem. What do you think? I hope you enjoyed the read. I also hope you all have a great Christmas! Happy Holidays to all!

P.S. I won’t be here next week for Christmas as I’m sure many of you won’t be either. I am taking the rest of the year off. See you all in 2019! Happy New Year Everyone!!

Thanks so much for reading!

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