Welcome to the WordCrafter “Once Upon an Ever After” Book Blog Tour
Before I begin Day two, Kaye has a word or two to share.
Welcome to the WordCrafter Once Upon an Ever After Book Blog Tour, where we’re launching Once Upon an Ever After: Modern Myths & Folklore with guest posts from contributing authors about their story inspirations, reviews and an interview the anthology and WordCrafter Press with me, Kaye Lynne Booth. So, stick with us by following the schedule below, to learn more about this mystical new anthology and its authors. Check back daily, as I’ll be adding the links as they go live.
Monday – August 22 – Opening Day Post – Writing to be Read – Intro. & Guest Post – Sarah Lyn Eaton
Tuesday – August 23 – Patty’s World – Review & Guest Post – Robbie Cheadle
Wednesday – August 24 – The Showers of Blessings – Guest Post – Olivia Merchiston
Thursday – August 25 –Roberta Writes – Interview w/ Kaye Lynne Booth
Friday – August 26 – Zigler’s News – Review & Guest Post – Lyndsay Elizabeth Gilbert
Saturday – August 27 – Closing Post – Writing to be Read – Guest Post – A.E. Lanier
For a chance to win a free digital copy of Once Upon an Ever After, just leave a comment to show you were here. Follow the tour and comment at each stop for more chances to win. Three copies will be given away in a random drawing. (Yep. I literally draw the names out of a hat.)
This anthology was by invitation only, which means I invited the authors because of specific stories, which caught my imagination. The result is a unique collaboration with a wonderful group of authors who have been an absolute pleasure to work with.
I must say, Kaye’s words of “A wonderful group of authors” is right on the mark. The stories in this anthology are quite amazing.
Today, I’ll be reviewing Robbie Cheadle’s War Babies. Before I do, here’s a word from Robbie.
Robbie’s Thoughts in her own words…
The theme for this short story collection was a little daunting for me at the time I received the notification about this anthology, Once Upon an Ever After. I am not a person who can necessarily write to any prompt as I need to be inspired. I have written some modern fairy tales loosely linked to a fairy tale which could be called the inspiration for the story, but the mood must be upon me to do that.
I wanted to write a story about the British women who worked in munitions manufacturing trinitrotoluene shells during the First World War. They were nicknamed ‘Canary Girls’ because exposure to TNT is toxic and repeated expose turns the skin an orange-yellow.
These Canary Girls may not have been fighting in the trenches, but the job they did was fraught with danger. The factories where the munitions were manufactured were targets for enemy fire and were often bombed. In addition, they risked personal injury if they tapped the detonator too hard when they fitted it into the top of the casing.
Of the women who survived the bombing and the actual work at the time, many suffered health problems later in life, including bone disintegration, throat problems and dermatitis. Some suffered from the even more serious consequences of liver disease called toxic jaundice.
I wanted to write a short story that highlighted the heroic and vital role played by these women in World War 1.
Obviously, the difficulty was making such a historically based short story fit with the fairy tale theme.
Eventually, inspiration struck. The guidelines for the story were not specific as to how the fairy tale element should be incorporated. It didn’t have to be a modern fairytale; it could include ideas and links to a well-known fairytale.
One morning, I woke up with the right fairytale link in my head. The Storks by Hans Christian Anderson.
The Storks is not one of the most popular of his fairytales, but it is one I always read and cried over.
If you don’t know this story and would like to read it, you can do so here: https://www.pookpress.co.uk/the-storks-hans-christian-andersen/
I really like Pookpress’ introduction to this story which reads as follows:
“Four determined young storks, a spiteful rhyme, and a twisted moral with a dreadful fate.”
So how do storks, a spiteful rhyme, and a twisted moral link up with the Canary Girls.
Ah, that would be telling wouldn’t it. You will need to read my story, The War Babies, to find out.
As a final word, I would like to share some information I learned while researching the origins of The Storks by Hans Christian Anderson.
On 6 May 2020, a pair of free-flying white storks hatched three chicks in an oak tree in the country of West Sussex in southeastern England. This hatching came 604 years after the previous written record of white storks breeding anywhere in Britain.
I thought that was very exciting news. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
Robbie, what I think is, the way you brought all the elements of inspiration together to create such a tale is quite amazing.
The promo says it all to me. Can you imagine working at such a job? On one hand, you would feel like Mol, proud of the work you were doing to help the war effort. On the other, always having the danger lurking in the background, ready to leap upon you like Jilly from her box.
Indeed, Jilly did pounce, disaster struck, then, like a house of cards tumbling down, caught in a puff of wind, death began to arrive.
Or was it the storks.
Robbie’s tale left me with chilled blood, a sad heart but relief that one bit of hope survived.
War Babies is one tale I’ll go back to again and again, for to me a great tale is like a fine wine, meant to be enjoyed as much as possible.
Make sure to pick up your copy at: https://books2read.com/u/mKdWGV
Thank you, Robbie for the privilege of reading and reviewing your wonderful work.
Thanks to all who read, comment on, and share this post.
Be sure to follow the tour for more.
Welcome to the WordCrafter “Once Upon an Ever After” Book Blog Tour featuring Roberta Eaton CheadleAugust 23, 2022
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Jacqui MurrayAugust 23, 2022
Best of luck with this tour. I’ll drop in wherever I can!
robertawrites235681907August 24, 2022
Thank you, Jacqui.
Priscilla BettisAugust 23, 2022
What a grim but important historical subject for a short story. Good review, Patty, and congratulations to Robbie and all the other authors involved with this anthology!
Patty FletcherAugust 23, 2022
Hi Priscilla thanks for reading and commenting.
Actually, though grim, the story is quite good with threads of love, committment and friendship all the way through.
There is also the element of the supernatural and all together this makes for a fine read.
Thanks again and please do feel free to share.
robertawrites235681907August 24, 2022
Hi Priscilla, the topic is grim, but hopefully, as Patty mentioned, themes of love, determination, loyalty and friendship also shine through. Thanks for visiting me here.
Liz GauffreauAugust 23, 2022
Congratulations on your inclusion in the anthology, Robbie! I remember discussing the story.
robertawrites235681907August 24, 2022
HI Liz, thank you. I was a little concerned about the blending of The Storks into this story but I think it did turn out well and the two stories and themes complemented each other.
JoAnnaAugust 27, 2022
It sounds like a story with a lot of heart. Robbie, thank you for writing about these heroic women I did not know about.
Patty FletcherAugust 30, 2022
Hi Joanne, thanks so much for visiting and commenting on the post.
Glad you enjoyed it.
Sorry about my lateness in replying.
JoAnnaAugust 30, 2022
My pleasure. No need to apologize. Your time is important, and the timing is flexible on WP.