BOOK REVIEW: Weeping Women Springs by Tamara Eaton


Posted by Ryder Islington, author of Ultimate Justice, a Trey Fontaine Mystery

Weeping Women Springs is an historical literary novel about five women whose family members head off to fight in World War II. The women live in a small town called Hope Springs in New Mexico. There’s a mystery about the water that bubbles from a spring behind the general store, the town having been named Hope Springs for the miraculous water. But when news comes that one soldier after another has been killed, the hope dies.

The characters are well rounded and make you either love them, or hate them.The story is one that drew me in. I had hope. I cried. I felt the pain the women suffered. I won’t tell you the end, but I will say that Tamara Eaton did herself proud with this one.

Below you’ll find more info on the book and author. I would recommend that those who love stories about the home front during WWII, as well as those who enjoy history in general, and most especially, lovers of good literary fiction. This is a keeper.

 

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Tears of grief dilute magical Spring waters…

Hope Springs has a secret–the waters mysteriously uplift the spirits of whoever drinks them. When the town’s young men depart to fight in WWII, tragedy strikes. Grief dilutes the waters unique effects, and hiding the village away from the world may provide shelter from the pain—but at what cost? Preoccupied with honoring their loved ones’ memories, five shattered women struggle to gather strength to overcome their loss, and find hope again.

Liv Soderlund, at the precipice of adulthood, is safe within Hope Springs, but longs for change. When news of the war comes, she revels in the excitement of new possibilities. It all comes crashing down once reports of fallen servicemen reach them. Angry, she comes up with the idea which could protect the town from further hurt. At the promise of a new love, can she let the past go?

Maxine Fiekens, a young bride who has had to handle adult responsibilities too soon, sends her husband off to war while she remains behind tending the village store. She’s the first to get word from the battlefront. Can she go on in the throes of unending sorrow?

Ruth Ackerman refuses to have a rushed wedding to her fiancé so waves him good-bye at the train station and spends her days planning her dream occasion. When she also receives heartbreaking news, she rejects the notion of being stuck in a town filled with grieving women and heads off to California where she strives for her dreams.

Susie Bracht dreams of leaving the village to further her education, but when the Korean Conflict breaks out, her brother and her boyfriend run off to be heroes. Her life is put on hold as she waits.

Anna Frolander, a woman who already saw the devastation war can bring, sends two sons to the frontlines in WWII then another runs off to the Korean War. Sunk into a deep depression, will she climb out of the abyss?

Some battles of war are fought on the Homefront by those left behind.

 

 

1438809561About the Author

Tamara Eaton is a “western woman.” She divides her time between Nevada, New Mexico and South Dakota where she and her love spend their summers renovating an old school. Wide open spaces of the desert and prairie are often portrayed in her work. A former secondary English teacher, she grabbed the opportunity to create her stories after she left the classroom. When not writing, she works with other writers editing and polishing their stories and poems. Find out more at http://tamaraeatonnovels.weebly.com/ and be sure to sign up for her Reading Group to keep posted on other projects as well as share your thoughts on current reads. You’ll receive a short story direct to your inbox.

GUEST POST: Two Approaches to Portraying Characters Three-Dimensionally by Pamela Nicole


Posted by Ryder Islington, Author of Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery,and coming soon: Ultimate Game, A Trey Fontaine Mystery
I hope all of you enjoy this article as much as I did. She may only be eighteen but Pamela Nicole has a a working knowledge of how to build a character. Read on as she shares her knowledge.

 

2 Approaches to Portraying Characters Three-Dimensionally

 

It’s not uncommon for readers to blame it on the characters when they haven’t enjoyed a book. In fact, poor characterization, Mary-Sues, and flat characters, are the reasons why some books just don’t work, in spite of having a great plot. And that’s where writers begin climbing the walls and request the deity of literature to please make readers just see what perfect characters they have.

 

So, maybe your beta readers have told you the characters aren’t really there for them, your critique partners aren’t convinced either, or perhaps you, yourself can’t get over the feeling that they’re lacking something.

 

That’s okay. In order for this post to be useful, you’ve got to accept you may be doing something wrong, or need to do more.

 

Readers know their thing. If they say characters are your weak point, it’s worth checking it out.

 

Let’s get to it, then.

 

Approach #1: The Dialogue and Action

 

By now, it’s understood you have your characters. Let’s say they are Jane and Joe, BFFs. We’re going to focus on how to use dialogue to portray Jane and Joe in a way that seems believable, and not forced. If you have been reading about shy Jane for now 156 pages and then Jane gets all ‘Let’s Party!’, you might want an explanation. But if this explanation never comes, or it’s just not enough, you have a characterization problem there.

 

Dialogue plays a important role in characterization, because, while we enjoy reading thoughts and conclusions, it’s what characters say and do what really stick with us.

 

I’m sure you must be at least okay at writing dialogue. No biggie. Your dialogues are not bad. Maybe there really isn’t anything wrong with them. But I assure you, you can make it even better and make good use of it for the benefit of the characters.

 

Here are some ideas:

 

  • Read some of your dialogue aloud. Do you feel like you want to laugh? Gag? It needs revising.
  • Tweak it so everytime there’s a conversation, the speakers show a trait. (It’s a good idea to keep a list of personality traits for major characters in order for this to be easier)

 

And for Actions

 

  • Try to always keep your characters in motion, or you’ll bore readers.
  • Every thing they do must have consequences. I repeat: Don’t forget the consequences.
  • Pay close attention. Jane and Joe do what Jane and Joe typically do, unless they have a reason to not to. Ex. Joe is afraid of the dark, but he enters a dark cave, albeit sweaty and shaking, to rescue his best friend, Jane.Note here that Joe isn’t happy about confronting this fear.

 

Approach #2: Opposite/Similar Character Traits

 

This is something I always strive to do. Do you sometimes feel your characters are hard to tell apart from each other? This is the solution. And it’s two-fold. Apart from being the answer to your characterization prayers, it also offers a much needed element in your story: Conflict.

 

Consider Jane:

  • Shy
  • Studious
  • Likes Gardening
  • Bossy

 

And Joe:

  • Friendly
  • Movie geek
  • Likes Videogames
  • Bossy

 

Now, these situations:

  • Jane going with Joe to a party. Jane is unconfortable and this can lead to several embarrasing moments.
  • Joe stuck in a study appointment with Jane and preferring to clean rather than study.

 

And then this one,

  • Jane and Joe are working with other classmates in a group project. Both have different but good ideas.

 

See what I mean? If you dig a little deeper, you can easily build a network of interactions between your characters that brings out the best/worst in them, gives them a distinct voice, and also offers situations you can use for the benefit of the plot.

 

Happy writing to all!

 

Fit In or Fit Out

Book Blurb:

Every person is the main character of their own story, and no one is less important thant anyone, right? Then, why do we have such a hard time understanding this simple concept? Why do we push people away and keep the wrong one close? In this work of non-fiction, written by a teenager herself, the subject is analyzed to some hard-to-admit depths, using famous quotes and relatable examples, the truth about high schools and human nature in general is revealed.

 

 

 

 

Pamela NicoleBio:

Pamela Nicole is an Ecuadorian 18-year old writer and blogger. After several attempts at productive hobbies, she discovered she could finish a YA book in three hours and forget about the real world in that time. So, after reading more, and more, she started writing short stories online and a novel draft. She published a short essay based on her own highschool experience. Pamela is currently working on her second novel.