Gracie’s Special Reading List…“Pond People” by Cathy Cade


“Gracie’s Special Reading List” shares self-published or independently published books, often by authors who have sites here at WordPress. This is to promote other indie writers who have something valuable to contribute even though not traditionally published.

“Pond People” is exactly the kind of book I would have wanted to read as a fourth grade student. And look at that! There is my fourth grade dictionary, a Thorndike-Barnhart Junior Dictionary!

And if I had been reading this book when I was in the fourth grade, I would have pulled out my dictionary, and turned to this page to find out what the word “mirling” means and maybe even find a picture of one. And you know what? It wouldn’t have been in there. No definition. No picture. See? Nothing there! “Mirling” belongs between “mire” and “mirror,” but it’s not there.

But even though I would not have been able to find “mirling” in my elementary school dictionary, you would never have been able to convince me that there is no such thing as a mirling. Reading this book would have let me know without any doubt that mirlings exist, and I would certainly find one, maybe more than one, the next time I visited Brittles Mill Pond, the only pond close to our house.

One of the things that I like most about this book is that it does not feel a need to take readers to a far-off distant place or another world “somewhere out there.” It encourages readers to use their imaginations right here and now, right where they are, and whether they are exploring around a pond or collecting bits of nature right in their own backyard.

This book is so well-written that it is easy to get lost in its watery and mysterious world with Molly and Flash. (My chickens love Molly and Flash. They have definitely divided themselves into two groups. Some are “Molly Fans.” Others are “Flash Fans.”) The books author, Cathy Cade, has done a beautiful job of filling its pages with all of the imaginative wonderment that makes childhood special. Cathy posts here on WordPress, and if you’d like to preview some of her writing and excerpts from this book, please visit her site. 

I do have a special affection for this book because Cathy gave me the opportunity to do the artwork for her cover as a gift of appreciation for her writing. She also helps other writers within the Whittlesey Wordsmiths group and provides numerous posts to guide other indie writers and self-publishing authors around the world.

Hopefully the cover illustration for “Pond People” gives a feeling of mystery and beauty that matches the truly excellent story found inside. A cover can draw a reader in, but it’s the written words inside that will keep the reader turning the pages. Cathy does that exceedingly well. Seriously, how suspenseful is this?!?

As Molly launched, a paw descended, dark as death. She found herself hurtling into a swipe that would scoop both fish and mirling out of the water.

“A paw” refers to a cat’s paw, and all my chickens were on the edge of their perch when I read this part to them. They couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next! (Cats and chickens are rarely best friends.)

Why not visit Cathy’s website titled Writing Wrinkles? I’m sure she would appreciate it if you said “Hi!” And don’t forget to consider purchasing her book on Amazon! My chickens and I would really appreciate your support of Cathy and her work.

And I’ll bet you too will be likely to try and spy a mirling or two the next time you pass by a pond!

One more thing…I’m still looking for at least one more indie author to help with a free book cover. Maybe that’s you?  

Gracie’s Special Reading List…“Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition” by Charlie Lee Austin

Gracie’s Special Reading List

“Gracie’s Special Reading List” shares self-published or independently published books, often by authors who have sites here at WordPress. This is to promote other indie writers with something valuable to contribute.

Unlike our other book posts, this one by Charlie Lee Austin is the first non-fiction eBook. This is a change for my chickens and I, but it is a good change because this book is filled with inexpensive ideas for celebrating Christmas.

You might think of this book as a collection of shiny Christmas ornaments all in a big box which someone has collected over the years. You can examine them and choose the ones which seem right and best for you depending on your particular needs. Keep in mind, the eBook is 892 pages long, and so it would be nearly impossible to do everything! But there are sparkling ideas to try.

One of our favorite ideas, a giving kind of idea, came at the end of the book. My chickens and I enjoyed this because we live in the Tidewater area of Virginia which is home to many of our active and retired service members from all branches. (Our home city of Portsmouth is designated as an “Official Coast Guard City” and is also home of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.)

“Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition” is free if you have Kindle Unlimited (which I don’t), but it is also available as a purchased eBook or paperback through Amazon.

Charlie blogs at Simply Chronically Ill and provides inspirational posts for a large number of readers affected by a wide variety of conditions. Charlie’s posts are always positive and encouraging.

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing any of these books with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the Amazon links here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about supporting independent writers even when it’s not what we write!

Gracie’s Special Reading List…“A Year Before Christmas” by Cathy Cade

Gracie’s Special Reading List
“Gracie’s Special Reading List” shares self-published or independently published books, often by authors who have sites here at WordPress. This is to promote other indie writers who also have something valuable to contribute.

Unlike our other book posts, this one will not have a full review from my chickens because I’m saving it to be their Christmas Eve story. But I did share this description with them from the back of the book:

Emmie the Elf works hard, running errands and sweeping out reindeer stalls, but Santa’s newest helper still finds herself grounded on Christmas Eve. Can Emmie prove she’s capable of higher things in time for next Christmas?

“A Year Before Christmas” by Cathy Cade

Here are their first impressions based on just the small amount of information I’ve given them.

“I am eager to hear this story on Christmas Eve. We did get a sneak peak of the Dedication Page, and we all agreed that Digger is adorable.” Gracie

“Yes, the Dedication Page said Digger wasn’t afraid of Christmas crackers. At first I thought it would be silly to be afraid of crackers. You just eat them, but then I learned that Christmas crackers mean something completely different in England where Digger and the author live.” Bessie

“It sounds like Emmie and I have a lot in common. I can do more than what others think I can do. I was able to sneak a peak inside the book and there was a funny looking guy wearing sunglasses and a hat. You know I’m going to love hearing all about that because I love hats and costumes!” Pearl

“Emmie’s name sounds a lot like mine, so I know I will enjoy this story. The part about cleaning out reindeer stalls sounds icky. Ew! But I’ll bet she still does it in a very lady-like way.” Emily

“There are supposed to be flying things in this story, so I’m really looking forward to learning about them and about faraway places like the North Pole. I also like that this is a story told as a poem. I like poetry. A lot.” Amelia

“A Year Before Christmas” is available through Amazon in the U.S. and  Amazon in the UK and would make a great stocking-stuffer gift.

Cathy is one of several writers in the same writing group named The Whittlesey Wordsmiths, and many have websites. You can find Cathy at “Writing Wrinkles” and her friends Wendy at “Wendy Wordsmith” and Phil at “Fenland Phil’s Blog”. Take some time to visit their writing websites because I think you will enjoy them.

The Whittlesey Wordsmiths have also published other books on Amazon, so you may want to do a search there for “Whittlesey Wordsmiths” to view all of their books.

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing any of these books with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the Amazon links here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about supporting independent writers even when it’s not what we write! Best wishes to all of the Whittlesey Wordsmiths!