Final Moment – #WritePhoto

#WritePhoto – March 29, 2018 – “Valley”

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Final Moment

The last thing I saw was the sea swallowing the sun along the horizon. Through my swollen eyes, I could make out the soft pink and orange that swirled together to become one. It was magnificent. If I hadn’t known any better, I’d have said it was magical. In those final moments, I wasn’t at all concerned with the rest of the world. Fully aware these moments would be my last, I cherished them for all they were worth, and kept my eyes on that glorious sunset.

I was lying on my side, face pressed down into the mud. The previous day’s rainstorm left the ground soft and slimy, and I could feel the wetness trying to push itself inside my ear. My hands were tied behind my back with tight, thick rope, and the duct tape secured around my mouth had forced itself up against my nostrils, almost suffocating me. At that point, it didn’t matter either way. I was helpless.

My case made national headlines. TV and newspapers had described me as a monster for the acts I’d committed. And it was true. Those kids didn’t deserve what I’d done to them, but I deserved every bit of what had happened to me at that point. And everything that was to come. I couldn’t feel sorry for myself. A mental health defense got me off scot-free, but that only made a difference in the eyes of the court.

As I laid covered in grit and grime, I heard harsh, raspy voices behind me. They spoke quietly, in an attempt to hide their identities, but it was useless. Those voices belonged to the fathers of the young girls I’d murdered. I had heard them speak in the courtroom many times. Anger, pain, heartache, devastation. It was something I’d never forget.

After overhearing their whispered conversation, I knew what was in store for me. The sharp sound of metal scraping metal filled the air and all I could do was wait. And while I waited, I prayed. My bold prayers were muffled beneath the tight gray duct tape, but the men heard my attempts.

“Prayers won’t save you. Just like they didn’t save my daughter.” I couldn’t see the man’s face, but I could sense irony, and something like redemption, in his tone.

Yes, the girls had prayed and begged for their lives. The only difference between us was that I knew my life couldn’t be saved, but I still had hope for my soul. I asked for forgiveness, wishing I could take back what I’d done, and kept my eyes on the beauty of the horizon.

I was still gazing at those pink and orange swirls as a pick axe smashed into the back of my skull, shattering bone with an ungodly crunch.

And everything went black.

©FrankieFiction 2018


This was my little piece for this week’s #WritePhoto prompt, hosted by Sue @ Daily Echo. I hope you enjoy! Same as last week, I chose to write a piece inspired by the photo provided. It’s a bit dark, but if you can’t tell yet, I love writing dark fiction. If you’re interested in participating, you really should. It’s a lot of fun! (Any and all feedback on my writing is welcome and appreciated!)

 

Until next time…

                                ❤ FRANKIE

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Social Media: The Never-Ending Black Hole

Have you ever been browsing Twitter (or the millions of other social media platforms out there), or reading blog posts, and stopped to look at the time just to find that 3 hours have passed?

Over the last few days, I’ve found myself completely LOST.

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I meant to write up some blog posts.
I meant to read books.
I meant to make progress on my story for Camp NaNoWriMo.

But all those meant’s mean nothing when it comes down to it. After you’ve spent hours upon helpless hours swirling around in the new-age world known as “social media”.

Social media is like a never-ending black hole.

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You click one thing. Read it. Click something else. Read it. Which makes you want to click the next one. And before you know it, you’re spiraling down and down and down into this never-ending black hole, time passing without you even realizing it.

I have literally spent my entire weekend reading blog posts and tweets.

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Don’t look at me like that. I’m not kidding here.

I honestly feel quite ashamed of myself. At first, I was like, “Oh, heck yeah, go me! I’m killing it in the blog-hopping game!” Then, all of a sudden it’s Sunday, and I’m like, “What in the bleep? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WHERE DID MY WEEKEND GO? I was supposed to be reading actual books!!”

Seriously.
Someone reassure me I’m not the only one this happens to.
What I want to know, is this…

If this happens to you, how do you PREVENT it from happening?

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Do you turn off all your devices? Or mute notifications? Maybe you schedule specific times for reading actual books, blogging, blog-hopping, tweeting, etc?

I feel like I need to do one of two things:

  1. Flush all my devices down the toilet or;
  2. Manage my time more properly (by scheduling time for certain things like reading books, blogging, etc)

Since I don’t really want to destroy my electronic devices, I feel like going with number two would be the most logical and rational answer. But, I could use your help!

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Let me know how you feel about this never-ending black hole we call “social media”. Have you ever let several hours pass you completely unnoticed?

If you can relate, please tell me what you do to try to prevent that from happening! It’s so easy to fall into the black hole!!

 

Until next time…

           ❤ FRANKIE

Mother Nature – #WritePhoto

While browsing in search of some creative writing prompts, I happened upon #WritePhoto hosted by Sue Vincent @ Daily Echo. Every Thursday she posts one of her photos to use as a prompt/inspiration for your writing that week. Your piece can be inspired by the photo provided, or you can use your own photo, if you’d like. I thought this was a really fun idea and I couldn’t wait to participate.

For my first week participating, I decided to use the photo provided for this week, which you can find below, with my short story to go along with it. I hope you all enjoy this short piece! Any and all feedback welcome! (Warning: slightly graphic content.)


#WritePhoto – March 22, 2018 – “Carved”

writephoto 3.22.18
Photo from Sue Vincent – scvincent.com

Mother Nature

Under the pink skies of dusk, Lonnie sags against the carved well, one of Mother Nature’s most unique and inspiring creations. After the long haul to the sacred spot, her lungs were burning, legs weak. Today’s trek wasn’t as easy as usual. This particular load was large, hefty dead-weight. Not the typical for Lonnie, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices.

Taking a moment not only to rest, but to collect her thoughts, her mind takes her back to the first time she discovered the well. Always a lover of the outdoors, Lonnie had developed a cherished bond with Mother Nature. Beautiful creations like this were made specially for her, as a thank you for all the good she’s done, all the people and families she’s helped.

Snapping back to reality and the task at hand, she reaches for the bundle of plastic and cloth and begins to pull. She tries to be as graceful as she can. After all, a mess to clean up is the last thing she wants. A smile washes over Lonnie’s face at the familiar rustle of grass and sand beneath the dragging load, assuring her one final time that she’s a good person. Most would even consider her a savior, wouldn’t they?

She makes it back to the monument, struggling at her attempt to lift the load. If only she can place it vertically against the stone, her job will be as good as done. Hair falling in her face, fingers and arms sore, Lonnie is finally able to get it. This is it. She’s ready.

When she snatches the frayed cloth from the top of the now vertical bundle, she sees a bloody face, eyes carved out of their sockets, staring back at her. No longer bothered by the grim looks of the dead, she begins her usual “good deed” seance…

“This… is for choosing to be blind. This… is for blatantly refusing to see the beauty in life. This… is for the existence of humanity. This… is for Mother Nature.”

The body is pushed over, down into the depths of the carved well… along with all the rest.

©FrankieFiction 2018

So Excited and Just Can’t Hide It

That’s right, ladies and gents! I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it! Why? Not only is it the weekend, but I was nominated for my very first ever tag/award! Yup. Jasmine @ Jasmine’s Reading was kind enough to nominate me for the Mystery Blogger Award! (Get it? ‘Cuz I’m all new and mysterious and all that?) 😉

Seriously, though… I couldn’t have been more thrilled when I saw the ping for the nomination. So thank you again, Jasmine! If you aren’t following Jasmine’s blog, you should go check it out. It’s bright, colorful, and pretty, and she posts some great discussions (check out her most recent discussion post to see what I’m talking about)! Alright!! On to this awesome award, created by Okota Enigma


The Mystery Blogger Award

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  • Put the award/logo image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself and answer the questions provided by your nominator
  • Share your link to your best post(s)
  • Nominate 5 people for the award
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with 1 weird or funny question (specify)

3 Things About Myself

  1. I’m part Italian, which is probably why I love pasta so much. (Especially lasagna and chicken alfredo.)
  2. The meaning of my name is “free”, which is how I came up with my oh so clever blog name. Ha!
  3. I’ve been debating on getting a tattoo for a while now. I keep changing my mind about what I want, and that makes me nervous. Tattoos are life long. If I keep changing my mind now, who’s to say I won’t change my mind after it’s been permanently inked into my flesh forever? Maybe one day I’ll just GO FOR IT. Probably not anytime soon, though.

Jasmine’s Questions

1. How do you keep track of the books you’ve read and want to read?

I’ve kept a book journal (notebook) for about two years now. I just write down the book title, author, and my rating when I finish a book. I jot down books that catch my interest. I recently discovered the incredible Goodreads and it’s life. Now I can keep track of everything there, but I’ll still continue with my book journal. I think it’s good to have stuff written down on paper, too. Just in case. (You can add me on Goodreads if you’re interested!)

2. Is there a book that you were required to read and really enjoyed?

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To Kill a Mockingbird is the first book that comes to mind, simply because I was fearful that I wouldn’t enjoy it at all. Of course, it ended up becoming one of my top reads.

3. Describe your perfect reading experience (where are you, what’s the weather like outside, what is the time of day, be as detailed as possible).

Laying out on the beach, warm sun beaming down on me, a good thriller or mystery book in hand, sand between my toes, a slight breeze blowing by. Tiny waves crashing against the shore. Every once in a while you’ll hear a flock of seagulls overhead. Other than that, it’s peaceful. Quiet. Solitude. So relaxing and rejuvenating. That’s my perfect reading experience.

4. Name a book that changed your life or transformed your opinions or perspective on something.

Dang, Jasmine! Give me all the difficult questions! Haha! I believe there are several books that have changed my outlook on things… but the one that’s sticking in my mind right now is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

nightingaleIt’s the story of two polar opposite sisters in France during WWII. A touching and beautiful tale, this book made me view WWII differently. Not just the war aspect, but everything that came with it. War. Love. Life. Longing. Loneliness. Heartache. Strength. Pain. Passion. Fright. Devastation. Although it’s fiction, it was centered around actual events. Horrible events. And it opened my mind and heart in so many ways. If you’ve not read that book, I highly recommend you do so!

5. If you’re comfortable, please share a really embarrassing moment (maybe it’s book-related)!

If we want to keep it book-related, how about the time(s) when you (actually, me) are browsing the erotica section and continue to get odd looks by strangers? And then you walk up to the register to check out, only to discover the worker behind the counter is a 65 year old man. Hesitant about continuing with this purchase, you pause, hoping maybe he hasn’t seen you yet and you can turn around and put the books back on the shelf. Nope. Not happening. You’ve been spotted. There’s no turning back now. It’s all over. You smile a little and lay your books face down on the counter, hoping he won’t be nosy like the others. Nope again. He flips your books over face-up and starts reading the titles out loud for everyone and their grandma to hear. “Strip You Bare”, he yells while eyeing you up and down, a strange look creeping across his face. “The Pornographers. The Bikini Diaries. Naked.” Your face turns as red as a chili pepper while you wonder if he’s doing this intentionally, or maybe he really is just some old guy who is halfway deaf and has no idea he’s embarrassing the hell out of you. Either way, you’re so embarrassed you wish you could run and hide in shame. Yeah, that’s probably my most despised embarrassing moments. (Also, I hate when people judge you for what you read. I get that I shouldn’t be ashamed, and I’m not anymore, but a few years ago, I would literally die when that kind of stuff happened. I learned to get over it. And never be ashamed of the type of books I like to read.)


My Best Post(s)

Man, there’s so many posts to choose from! This decision is critical! (Not really.) Haha! With a grand total of two posts on my blog while typing this, there aren’t many to choose from! I’ll go with my latest post, my review of Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu simply because it was my very first review on the blog, with many more to come in the future! Everyone is a teensy-bit proud of their very first posts and/or reviews, right? Just because we had the courage and motivation to get on here and start a blog in the first place! (Sidenote: if you love Batman, I highly recommend that book.)


My Nominees

Abigail @ Abigail’s Books

Suziey @ All the Books in the Libraries

Hanna @ Hanna W’s Reads

Eva @ Novel Deelights

Kim @ Troubled Bibliophile


My Questions For My Nominees

  1. If you could only read either the beginning of a book for the rest of your life, or the end of a book for the rest of your life, which would you pick and why?
  2. Recommend me books with titles that start with the first letter of each letter in your name. (For ex: five letters in your name equals five book recs)
  3. Do you think there are any cons, or negative effects, of being an avid reader? Please explain your answer either way.
  4. How often do you post on your blog? And do you have a posting schedule/plan?
  5. (Weird/Funny Question) What’s the strangest place you’ve ever taken a book with you?

And my first ever tag/award is complete! Whoop-whoop! Alright, I’ve gotta thank Jasmine one last time for the nomination! I did a little research to try to nominate those who hadn’t posted the tag/award before… but if, for some reason, I missed it, or you just don’t feel like participating… please, no worries! We’re all good here either way! But I’m looking forward to seeing your responses to my questions!

PS: I signed up for Bloglovin’! Check it out!
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

Until next time…

                    ❤ FRANKIE

REVIEW – Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

batman nightwalker

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2) by Marie Lu

Genre(s): YA Fiction, Fantasy
Pages/Edition: 272 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Random House (1.2.18)
Read: March 12, 2018

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Synopsis

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.


Review

Have you ever wondered how it all started for Bruce Wayne? How, in fact, did he become the vigilante we have all come to know and love? If these are questions that have ever crossed your mind, then I feel this book will be perfect for you (as it was for me!)

I admit I was a bit hesitant starting this book before reading Wonder Woman (DC Icons #1), but I was continually told that it’s not required to read the books in order, and I’m glad I listened to those who told me that! It’s definitely not a requirement to read Wonder Woman first, so don’t worry that you’ll miss out on anything! You won’t, I promise!

Marie Lu starts off by giving us a little insight into the criminal(s) we’ll be chasing after in this story, and I found it to be quite an exciting introduction. This set up had me asking myself many questions. Who is this character they’re talking about? Someone we know or have learned about in previous Batman stories? It makes you wonder. It builds anticipation (and holds it throughout most of the book!). And that, I loved!

Personally, I’ve never thought Bruce Wayne to have a strikingly strong or appealing personality. In my opinion, he’s always been very much a “blah” type of character, if that makes sense. Dull. Predictable. Boring. Until he puts on the batsuit. Then he becomes this amazing, incredible hero. My thoughts on this haven’t changed after reading Batman: Nightwalker. Bruce Wayne is still the same, unexciting person he’s always been (even at a young eighteen). This doesn’t affect my views on the writing, in general, simply because I feel like that’s how he was meant to be portrayed. He’s just a serious, predictable type of guy… that’s who he is. My point being… this wasn’t a lack of character development on Lu’s end.

As far as other characters in the book go… well, there’s not much to write home about. Other than the crazy Madeleine. She was by far my favorite character in the book and I found myself appealing to her personality more and more. (To be honest, I wouldn’t mind a book solely based on Madeleine herself! Let’s hear more of her story!) She was a feisty, outgoing, truly badass criminal. (Why is it always the criminals I seem to root for these days?)

Something else I highly appreciated about this novel was that Lu took it easy on the romance aspect. One of the main things that have been bothering me lately with YA is the romance. (*runs and hides*) For the simple fact that it all seems the same. Each love story is (or seems) the same. And although this is considered to be a young adult novel (you’d assume the romance comes with the genre), there really wasn’t much of it. Thank goodness for that. Yes, there may have been some crushes… some romantic thoughts. But because it wasn’t the focus of the book entirely, this made it all the more great for me.

Yes, this is a “young adult” novel, but I could absolutely see older audiences enjoying this book, too. I loved basically everything about this book, other than the slightly defective character development in some of the secondary characters. But Lu did a fantastic job overall telling Batman’s story. She created an exciting, yet easy, read that will keep you entertained all the way through. As I said before, if you’re curious as to how Bruce Wayne became Batman, this is definitely the book for you. You’ll get inside info that you’ve never known before, and I feel like all Batman fans, no matter the age, will get enjoyment from this novel. Go check it out! You won’t regret it!

 

Until next time…

              ❤ FRANKIE

The Blogging Begins: An Introduction

Hello, new friends!

I can’t even begin to explain how extremely excited I am to be starting my own blog! In this first post, I would like to tell you a little about myself, what type of posts you’ll find here, as well as what I hope to accomplish with my blog.


A Bit About Me

  • My name is Francesca, but everyone calls me Frankie (and Frankie is what I prefer).
  • Some of my hobbies include reading, writing, astrology, and cooking. But my passion is books.
  • My favorite genres include, but are not limited to, general fiction, young adult, fantasy, suspense/thriller.
  • My birthday is July 13, so I’m a Cancer, and my birthstone is the beautiful Ruby.
  • I adore my two cats, Roscoe and Mabel.
  • Currently, I am working on attaining my Bachelor’s Degree in Education.

What You’ll Find on This Blog

Basically, the main focus of my blog will be reading and writing. It will be my personal space where I can share my thoughts on books I’ve read (or want to read), such as book reviews, lists, discussions, challenges, etc. I may also post some of my creative writing and short stories, hoping for your honest feedback and/or suggestions!


What I Hope to Accomplish

I feel like what I hope to accomplish with this blog isn’t much different from what I’m sure others hope to get out of blogging…

  • I would love to meet other book-loving people, and make new friends.
  • Spark awesome discussions based around books and/or writing.
  • I hope that you all will enjoy this blog and have some fun reading my posts, if nothing else!
  • Sharing my thoughts with you guys will be a release of a sort, and I’m in the hopes that it’ll be a relaxing, stress-relieving experience for me!

 

There you have it! My very first ever blog post and a brief introduction! As I mentioned before, I’m so thrilled to start this journey and dive in to the world of blogging! I’m especially looking forward to meeting and chatting with all of you! I’m sure we have lots in common.

 

Until next time…

          🖤Frankie🖤