Friday, 27 February 2015

With Every Letter - The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: February 2015

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: February 2015 

Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun. 

This month has been a very average reading month and out of the six books I managed to read five were very so-so, although enjoyable enough nothing I’d really recommend, more books to fill in time.

Here follows my best book for the month of February 2015:

Picture from Amazon

With Every Letter
(Wings of the Nightingale BKI)
Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is the author of A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.

Approx. 432 pages
Book Description from Amazon
Publication Date: 1 Sept. 2012

They know everything about each other--except their real names.

Lt. Mellie Blake is looking forward to beginning her training as a flight nurse. She is not looking forward to writing a letter to a man she's never met--even if it is anonymous and part of a morale-building program. Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa, welcomes the idea of an anonymous correspondence--he's been trying to escape his infamous name for years.

As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other's true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face-to-face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage by their pasts?

This is the first book in a trilogy following the lives of American flight nurses in WWII.  Our two main characters, Lt. Mellie Blake and Lt. TomMacGilliver are two people who have had a different upbringing to others, both from single parent families.  They both find it difficult to socialise with other people and add the extra tension of wartime to the mix creates a few more problems.  They ‘meet’ each through a scheme that is introduced for anonymous pen pals and let out their innermost thoughts and feelings secure in the knowledge that they will never meet.  

Lots of research has gone in to this book which shows in the flow of writing and enabling the reader to envisage the situation, sights and smells of what it was really like during those awful times.  There are Christian references throughout the book which didn't deter me from reading on.  

This is the first time I’ve read anything by this author and certainly won’t be the last time. This was a delightful read with good clean romance thrown in.

Monday, 16 February 2015


 Monday 16 February 2015
The rules are simple:
  • You will see one of two prompts each week--either one photo with five mandatory words OR two photos to be incorporated together. Use the photo(s) and prompt to write a 500-word story; all elements of the prompt must be a feature in the brief story you create.
  • When 1 photo/5 words is the theme, the 5 words MUST be clearly referenced in your story. Variations on a word are allowed within reason (for example: adding s, ed, ing to the word to be grammatically correct); however, creating a new, unrelated, word is not okay... because it simply isn't part of the prompt.
  • We ask that you keep your story to approximately 500 words (give or take). We aren't counting but, please, no 1000-word entries.
  • PHOTOS: Photos are the property of the hostess for the week, unless otherwise mentioned. In order to honor the community-purpose of the blog hop and to avoid confusion:
          ~ Please Do Not share photos and/or prompt words as your own.
          ~ Please include the photo(s) and reference the blog hop in your post so your blog audience and the blog hop community may all be connected.
          ~ Please do not include extra photos into your story... Thank you so much for   understanding! Let us know if you have questions on this. :)
  •  Link your story through the blue frog at the bottom of the prompt by the following Tuesday (direct link to story, not your whole blog, please). If you are unable or need help, contact your hop hostess via the comments: Leanne, Heather, or Tena.  
We do reserve the right to not publish your entry if your submission does not adhere to these instructions... not because we are mean, but because we want to keep this prompt fair for all participants. :)
  • Have Fun! Take your writing seriously, but let those creative juices flow! Don’t fret/panic/pass out/hyperventilate/lose sleep/run in fear over the blog hop, instead let this be an exercise in letting the imagination run wild while staying within the discipline of flash-fiction—short and compelling!

This week we have two photographs as our prompt:


The clock was silent; she could hear the ticking in her mind, every minute that passed, the smooth hands, one big, one small, glided around the dial effortlessly.  She placed her black, newly polished shoes next to her big brother’s black ones.  She picked up one of his shoes, losing her hand inside it as she deftly balanced it in an upward motion ready to take the black shoe polish from the brush held in her other hand.

Back and forth she swept the waxy substance over the shoe, paying particular attention to the toes and the heels.  The sides were awkward as the huge shoe nearly fell off her tiny hand but she managed it.  She placed it back down on the table and picked the other matching shoe up, this shoe, his right shoe, was worn in different places.  She could see how the heel was worn down more on the inside, her brother’s gait said a lot about him.  She completed the action of putting the polish on the shoe and now, as she had been taught by her grandfather, she would leave the polish to soak in for a few minutes before buffing them up to a shine anybody would be proud of. 

She glanced around the room, letting her gaze fall on the small box in the middle of the table.  She couldn't resist it and opened the box, loving the sound it made as it snapped open.  The ring sat in its cushioned groove waiting patiently.  It looked lonely, unloved and just for a moment she was tempted to take it out and place it on her finger.  She knew it would have been too big; it was a man’s ring, one that would suit her brother down to the ground.  

She dashed the tears from her eyes.  She was going to miss him so much, even his teasing she would miss.  She would miss the way he glanced at her during those boring dinner times; she would miss it when he winked at her surreptitiously as their mother or father made their old fashioned and out dated views on modern relationships known to everybody trying to eat their meal.  

She would miss his deep, booming voice, the laughter that would erupt from deep down and rise up through his body, reaching his eyes and making them crinkle in that delightful way.  She really, really would miss her big brother. 

‘Hey, Anna,’ called her brother from his bedroom, ‘can you bring my shoes to me please?’

Anna wiped her tears away, ‘polishing them now,’ she called back. 

Richard came and stood in the doorway, resplendent in his tuxedo, bow tie perfectly tied and watched her with affection. 

‘I’ll miss you as well, little squirt.’

Anna smiled at him as she passed his shoes to him and put her own dainty feet in to her favourite black buckle shoes.  She stood on tip-toed and kissed Richard's smooth, clean shaven cheek. 

‘Good luck big brother.’

Word count: 499