To celebrate Mother’s Day all month long, I challenged authors to rethink the summaries of their novels and do them from one of the main character’s POV. The last guests visiting the blog this month to take on the “If Moms Told the Story” challenge are the husband-and-wife team Ann Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks. These two have a thriller with Melange books (the mother company of imprint Fire and Ice which publishes my books), but they had an idea for a fun fantasy middle grade story and came up with Things Are Not What They Seem. It was released by MuseItUp Publishers in April. The Hicks did their mom retelling of the story in diary form. Take a look, and if you like what you see please leave a comment and scroll back to enjoy the other posts.
Dear Diary, Wednesday, July 10
Parenting is just the hardest job ever!
I hope I don’t sound like a complainer. I have two great kids. Jenny is 13 years old, going on thirty, if you know what I mean. So smart, so kind, so … I don’t know, wise beyond her years as the saying goes. And then there’s James, my little wiseacre, who has a funny comment about everything. Let anyone just try to get him to be serious! And both children are full of love for their father and me. That’s one of the best things of all. Even when they fight as brothers and sisters do sometimes, I know they care deeply about each other.
But, Oh my God, Dear Diary, when they brought home that pigeon the other day, I just couldn’t stand it! A pigeon from Central Park in my apartment? Plus, he had a little white splotch on his head. The children said it was just white feathers like those of a Bald Eagle, but it made him look sort of diseased to me. I almost demanded that they take him right to the nearest window and let him fly away. However, something in the way they looked at each other and at that confounded pigeon made me think that the bald-looking bird was important to them – more important than my fear that he might have fleas, or lice … or bed bugs!
Dear Diary, Thursday, July 11
Well the bird didn’t have any of those problems, but something strange is definitely going on, I just know it! Yes, I’ve read all the parenting books, and I realize that children have to have their secrets, and I also know that Jenny and James would not do anything very bad, and yet I have this strong sense that they are in the midst of some sort of project and that it involves that pigeon. I find it hard to stop thinking about them making friends with this creature and it is affecting my ability to sleep and even my thoughts when I’m awake. What in the world can they be up to? Just today I was in the living room and the children came in, and then, while we were talking, in marches the pigeon, strolling along as if he owned the place … and something else, Dear Diary. I could have sworn he talked! Unbelievable.
Dear Diary, Thursday, midnight, July 11
I’m feeling guilty, Dear Diary. I see in my daughter a quality that I have tried to hide for so many years. You see I sometimes have this feeling that my dreams are more than mere dreams and that someone is attempting to communicate with me. I have the feeling that the same is true of Jenny. I recognize it on her face sometimes in the morning or even during the day when she seems to fall into a reverie and suddenly snaps back. I need to share this with her, but how? I’ve always thought I was a little crazy because of it. What if she thinks so too when I confide in her? Maybe her spacy-ness is coming from another cause entirely.
Perhaps I should be getting a bit more sleep? Whoever heard of a pigeon that talked? I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up and have everything back to normal.
Dear Diary, Friday, July 12.
I guess the sleep helped to an extent. I’m feeling so much better today. Jenny and James both kissed and hugged me at breakfast for no reason! I feel like a trial period of parental tolerance has passed. Curious, isn’t it? Maybe I am crazy after all. But I’ll never look at a pigeon the same way again!
This sounds like a funny and unique book to me. If it has your attention, read the actual book blurb below and find the link to get your own copy today.
What would you do if you were sitting on a park bench, minding your own business, and one of those annoying pigeons suddenly started to talk to you? And what if the pigeon didn’t just talk to you – in a meticulous British accent, no less – but pleaded with you to help untangle a piece of string that had accidentally attached his leg to a wrought iron fence surrounding the playground? And what if, while you are still convinced that this is all a big nasty trick, a hawk swoops down out of the sky and starts cursing at you, also in the King’s English, for getting in his way when he wanted to execute the pigeon?
That is the quandary in which Jennifer (almost 13 years old and probably a bit too smart for her own good) finds herself one sweltering July morning while babysitting her 11-year-old (very precocious) brother James and his mopey, allergy-prone friend Sleepy. She soon learns that the bird is actually a man named Arthur Whitehair, a 19th-century Englishman who had been turned into an eternally-lived pigeon by misreading an ancient spell that was supposed to give him eternal life as a human. Likewise, an unscrupulous colleague of his, named Malman, had been turned into a hawk by Whitehair’s blunder. After years of searching, Whitehair claims (half-truthfully) that Malman has found him hiding in Central Park and is now out for revenge. On top of all this strange business, Jennifer has recently begun having weird dreams in which a crazy-looking man with curly red hair speaks cryptic phrases in Latin. Are they random phrases, or messages? And why would some sketchy guy be sending her messages in her dreams?
Muse it Up Publishing
D. G. Driver
Author of Young Adult books Cry of the Sea and Passing Notes.