Entries by Mary Maddox

Staying True

I found plenty to admire about Melinda Field’s novel True. In polished prose the author creates a world of memorable characters and a lavishly described rural Northwest American setting. She knows and loves horses. The novel’s title is taken from one character’s description of horses as “true to their ancestral memory, their environment, their instincts, […]

Interview with Tori L. Ridgewood

I’m excited to welcome author Tori L. Ridgewood to Ancient Children. Tori, please tell our readers a little about yourself. I am in my mid-thirties, tall, and I can never make up my mind on what colour I want my hair to be! Married since 1997, I have two school-aged children and I am a full-time […]

In the market for a word?

The paradox of the thesaurus is that you can use it only to find words that you already know. Plucking an unfamiliar word from a list of synonyms practically ensures misusage. Now and then I consult a thesaurus to remember a word that has slipped my mind, and the one I reach for most often […]

A compelling historical novel

In Miseerere Caren J. Werlinger has written an historical novel that weaves together narratives from two periods: the mid-1960s dominated by the Civil Rights Movement and the mid-1800s that saw the Civil War and the end of legalized slavery in America. The story centers on the descendants of Caitríona Ní Faolain, an Irish girl brought to […]

Squeeeee! Another new release

Guest post by Tahlia Newland Another book in my Diamond Peak series has just been published! I think it is worthy of several exclamation marks in a row!!! That, of course, is something I’d never do in a book, no matter how excited I might be. In formal writing, one exclamation point at a time […]

Be sure to catch Loose Dogs

Kirsten Mortensen’s Loose Dogs is a wonderful novel, full of comedy without ignoring life’s sadness and cruelty. The characters are deftly drawn. The author gives them individuality even when they’re recognizable types. The story unfolds at a satisfying pace that kept me reading from start to finish. Paige Newbury, the narrator and protagonist, works as an […]

Zombie love story

I could never get into zombies. Sad reanimated corpses, mindless and sexless, they shuffle along dropping rotted body parts in their wake, pausing occasionally to gnaw living human flesh. Horrifying, sure. Funny in a grisly kind of way. But mostly boring. Certainly not figures that evoke empathy. I’ve enjoyed a few zombie movies—George Romero’s classic […]

Riveting legal thriller by TJ Cooke

In his legal thriller Defending Elton, TJ Cooke takes on formidable challenges. First, his protagonist is a British solicitor who sets out to frame a mentally challenged client, Elton, for a murder that he himself committed. How can readers sympathize with a guy like that? Yet Cooke succeeds in evoking not just a grudging understanding […]

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Ghost story

Thirty years ago Joe and I lived in a beautiful house overlooking a lake. It was his second year of teaching at Eastern Illinois University. Uncertain whether we would settle permanently in Charleston, we leased the place from a professor on sabbatical. The house had an unpaved driveway that wound steeply downward to a gravel […]


When an idea sparks a story

I get too many ideas for stories, more than I have time to write. How to choose among them? I take the ones that call to both my head and my heart. An unusual premise might interest me, but unless it comes with a character I care about or moves toward some kind of emotional […]