Notell Motel

Billy and Darla by Jay Lemming is a short story about teenage angst associated with growing up. The angst seems to come from three high-school-age students who have no external sources of inspiration and guidance although each of them has a family base that should be working.

Billy had a girlfriend, Darla, until Billy had a fight with Lane the Linebacker. Billy lost and Darla dumped him. Darla only went with winners. Billy never got over Darla but that didn’t stop him from dating Jessie, a good friend of Darla’s. Unlike his relationship with Darla, Billie’s relationship with Jessie was mostly platonic. Mostly. Except for that one time. Billy had an OK family life. The loss of a brother left a persistent gloom over the family but the family remained stable. Billy was just more ignored. Just like at school where teachers either ignored him or dismissed him. He was also not in the popular crowd.

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How Can You Keep Them Down on the Farm …

Oklahoma Exile by Norma Jean Lutz is the story of a City Girl forced by events to adapt to the life of a Country Girl. The larger conflict is whether she will succeed in doing this while at the same time retaining the identity of Serena. The reader knows immediately that Serena City Girl has a disdain for a country lifestyle. Serena is polite about this and the larger conflict is expressed and takes place largely within Serena herself. Only a very perceptive relative or friend could detect this conflict.

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Christmas and Murder and Cookies

What with the holidays and all, I thought a Christmassy review would be nice. Given my favorite genre, crime fiction, I found the following short read about Christmas, murder, and cookies interesting. There are some who find it difficult to get into the holiday festive mood. Crunchy Christmas Murder by Patti Benning tells us that you should at least fake it and publicly display enthusiasm for the holidays. There aren’t a lot of surprises; this is what I would call a “comfort read.” I think I will make a tag that says that.

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