Garrett’s Bones by K.D. Dowdall–a review

Standard

garrets-bones-new-version-final-2-copy-e1476050058644

Garrett’s Bones by K. D. Dowdall is a book that will satisfy readers from the young to the, may I say, more experienced and older. Dowdall combines suspense, intrigue, excellent character development, themes of the forest and spirits, along with a well-paced and well-developed plot into a book that resonates with power and beauty.

This novel is both a coming-of-age Bildungsroman and an exploration of themes of good against evil. The main characters, Garrett and Anna, are young and have a complex relationship throughout the book. It is one of the strengths of the novel that Dowdall creates multi-dimensional characters whose hopes and dreams, fears and anxieties, strengths and weaknesses permeate the tale.

Additionally, this book speaks of the supernatural as well as history, love as well as hatred, and life as well as death. I was moved when I read it, and I consider it to be an extraordinary novel. I give it a 5 star, full-hearted, unreserved recommendation! This is a book to be put on everyone’s to-read list!

Garrett’s Bones by K.D. Dowdall will engage your imagination!

Please visit Karen’s site! https://karendowdall.com/author/kddowdall/

Writing Quotations

Standard

Here are a few of my favorite writing quotations:

neil-gaiman-april-2013

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“You put one word after another until you are done.”

                                                                                   Neil Gaiman

 

 

stephen_king

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

 

“If you write books, you go one page at a time.”

                                                                                   Stephen King

 

noraroberts

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“I don’t fiddle or edit or change while I’m going through that first draft.”

                                                                                   Nora Roberts

March Writing Progress

Standard

machine-writing-1035292_960_720

https://pixabay.com

As I was working on a draft of one of my books yesterday, I realized that I had not give my monthly report on my writing progress.  My apologies for tardiness!

I received excellent feedback from a fellow blogger on my novel Evil Lives After –thank you!  I finished the 9th draft, and I am now currently working on smaller revisions for the 10th draft, which I hope will be done this month. Then I have to decide–do I keep trying to get an agent for it, or do I self-publish? I am leaning now towards self-publishing this book.

I am continuing timely progress with book 2 in my YA series. I expected to have about 100 pages written by the end of March, and I am exactly on target.  With this rate,  I will complete the first draft by the end of June.  It will also keep me on my target goal of drafting two first drafts every year.  I know that these are not finished works, but without something down on paper, there is nothing to correct.  Also, I have so many novels and a few nonfiction books patiently, or not-so-patiently, waiting in line to be composed that I must continue this pace.

people-304353__180

https://pixabay.com

Book One of this series is now the novel that I will begin to pitch to agents.  I think I have a much better chance of finding an agent for this piece than the horror novel.  I will work on both my query letter and a pitch to give at the Writers Digest 2016 conference in Manhattan this summer. As always, I am excited about going to this conference.

That is all for now…will do another update in one month or so!

 

 

Sam’s Chicken Paprikash

Standard

It has been a while since I have talked about the characters from my horror novel Evil Lives After. Sam Sadlowski is one of three founding members of the BPCS, the Bethberg Paranormal Consulting Society, a ghost and supernatural investigation group, that is central to my book.

sherlock-holmes-462957__180.jpg

https://pixabay.com

Sam is a retired homicide detective and an avid cook.  But he doesn’t do any of “that high-class stuff served on a plate too large and a portion too small,” as he would say. A proud descendant of Polish and Hungarians, he loved the peasant food he grew up with. He loves hearty food and plenty of it.

One of his favorite foods was a meal his mother made often when he was growing up.  Here is his version of Chicken Paprikash:

20160208_175155

(Photo By Liz French, 2016)

Ingredients:

2 pounds chicken, either breast or thighs

2 green bell peppers

2 large onions

1 pound button mushrooms

1 can crushed tomatoes

paprika — regular or hot depending on the level of desired heat

fresh ground black pepper

garlic

pinch of salt (optional)

sour cream

either dumplings or wide noodles

To prepare:

Use a large dutch oven, preferably of cast iron.

Boil the chicken for a few minutes to begin the cooking process, then transfer to the dutch oven that has a hot layer of cooking oil in it that has been heavily coated with paprika, so that the oil looks red.  Be sure to pat the chicken dry first with a paper towel to avoid oil splattering.

While the chicken is searing, on both sides, chop the peppers and onions. Clean the mushrooms with cold water and a paper towel.

After the chicken is seared, turn the heat to low or simmer.

Add the peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

Add the seasoning.

Add the crushed tomatoes.

Add two-four tablespoons sour cream, and mix completely.

Let simmer in the dutch oven for 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours.

Cook the noodles or dumplings.

To Serve:

Serve over noodles or dumplings in a large bowl.

Slick thick pieces of good bread to place on the side.

Sam prefers to drink Hungarian red wine: egri bikaver, which translates loosely as “bull’s blood” with the meal.

egri bikaver

If you enjoy hearty meals, give this a try. You will probably enjoy Sam’s recipe.

 

 

 

Writing Update

Standard

typewriterold

https://pixabay.com

It has been a while since I have posted my writing progress, so I want to give an update on what I have been doing. I posted a while ago that I want to write a first draft of a novel every six months or so, and I am on target with that goal. I hope that the first draft I am currently writing will be between 200-250 pages, and I currently have about 40 pages written.  At the pace I am going, I should have it complete in June.  This is book two in my YA series.

revision

https://pixabay.com

I am also very busy working on revisions of my horror novel Evil Lives After and the first book in the YA series. In both cases these revisions are minor. I believe both books are ready for submissions; I will see what kind of results I get.  In the case of the YA, I have been getting excellent feedback and reaction from readers. I have also received excellent advice on the horror novel, and I have cut some and rearranged chapter order, so I believe it moves along much faster and better than before.

books-690219_960_720

https://pixabay.com

On the academic writing front, I am working on revising an article on Gothic literature as well as conducing research for a book on an obscure Irish playwright, Seamus Byrne. I hope to send the article out again soon, and I will work on drafting a chapter of the book in the summer.

I will give an update every month or so on my progress.

 

 

 

 

Favorite Horror Films of the 1950s: The Curse of Frankenstein

Standard

mistake-876597_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

First I want to begin with a mea culpa. I made an error in my last post about horror films in the 1950s. I wrote that Horror of Dracula was the initial film in Hammer Studio’s emergence as a major production house of horror films; it was not the first.  The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957 was their first horror movie.  I apologize for the mistake.

Curseoffrankenstein

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Terence Fisher directed The Curse of Frankenstein for Hammer, and Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Hazel Court starred. The result was an innovative, fast paced, and  vivid colored.  It was, like so many others, loosely based on the great work of Gothic English Literature by Mary Shelley: Frankenstein: Or The Modern Prometheus (1818). Yes, that is the accurate subtitle, although it is usually omitted in most printings of the book.

frankenstein

This movie was highly successful, both financially and critically.  And like Horror of Dracula would, it spawned a long series of sequels. A major difference between the direction of the following films was the focus: the monster Dracula was the recurring character in the vampire movies, while Dr. Frankenstein, and not his creature was the repeating protagonist/antagonist of the Frankenstein movies. This is also an  important distinction between the Hammer and the earlier Universal movies in which the Creature was the primary recurring character.

The Creature was also a mindless killing machine in this film, and none of the Creature’s humanity was kept from the novel, which is the film’s major flaw. It is, nevertheless, an important film from this era, and if you enjoy or are interested in horror films, then I recommend it.

wp-1476386546701-maledicus

 

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

 

My Current Writing Progress

Standard

pen-1035081_960_720

https://pixabay.com

It has been a while since I have updated my writing progress, so I decided this would be a good time to do so. I just finished the first draft of a horror novel about a werewolf.  It is clearly a misshapen skeleton of a book at this point, but at least, it is done and can be developed and edited later. As indicated in my previous post, without words down on paper, there is nothing than can be revised.

machine-writing-1035292_960_720

https://pixabay.com

My writing goals for the first half of 2016 follow. First, I will revise my horror novel Evil Lives After, which would be its 9th draft and to continue submitting it to agents and publishers. If I have no success, I will then plan on self-publishing this book.  I believe it is time. Next I will revise the first book of my YA series and also submit it to agents.  I am not sure if submitting two books is recommended or not, but I am following my own plan of action.  We will see what happens. Finally, but definitely not least, I will write the first draft of the second novel of my YA series.

As long as I maintain the pace I have been keeping over the last few years, I should be able to accomplish these goals.  We will see at the end of June if I have reached the destination.

autumn-1013015_960_720

https://pixabay.com