Saturday, May 14, 2022

EEK! The Curmudgeon Escaped! Cast vs Casted

by Marsha Ward @Marsha Ward

It's a little known fact that I have a curmudgeon side to my personality that I keep locked in the basement. Occasionally, he, and yes, the Curmudgeon is male, defeats my lock and escapes, usually to make a scathing comment on misuse of the English Language. He's out! Sheesh! Well, we might as well find out what the Curmudgeon has to say.

Listen up, you Readers and Writers, too. Recently, that lady up there ^ (who cannot be said to be my "mistress," because she ain't, and she wouldn't allow any mud thrown on her character anyway) saw a report that a person of high standing used the term, "he was casted well" in regards to an actor portraying a character in a large production.

If you could only imagine the terrible tantrum this caused me to throw! I think she sensed my turmoil, because she came down here and checked the lock on the door. But she doesn't know that I've figured out a way to escape, heh-heh. Here I am!

Before that lady ^ comes over here to the computer and wrestles me back down to my lonely chamber, I've got something to say about the verb "to cast."

If you remember your lessons in English classes from elementary school What! Nobody deigned to teach you English, you miserable little insect?

Ahem! Where are my manners? Ahem.

The verb "to cast" is an irregular verb. That means, you inse ahem. That means the conjugations don't follow the regular path of the verbs that play nice. Conjugation. You don't Conjugate, you worm! Conjugate means "to give in order the inflectional forms of a verb." YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT INFLECTIONAL MEANS? "The change of form, in a word, to indicate number, case, tense, etc." Get a dictionary, you little

Never mind.

Anyway, as I was saying, "to cast" is an irregular verb. It doesn't get "d" or "ed" added to it to make the past tense. Here's the present tense:

I cast
you cast
he casts
we cast
you cast
they cast

Here's the preterite, or past tense:

I cast
you cast
he cast
we cast
you cast
they cast

Do you see that? The past tense is virtually the same as the present tense. The only difference is that in past tense, he cast [the first stone yesterday]. But he casts [that miserable little stone today].

There's no d or ed in sight.


sight - site - cite

Next time I escapeSHE'S COMING! She has a new lock in her hand! HELP!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Fresh Book Friday - Finding Love in Nowhere

 It's been a while since I posted Fresh Book Friday. Here's a new book:

Title: Finding Love in Nowhere
Series: The Nowhere Prequals and Duet Series
Author: Heather White
Genre: Fantasy Adventure Fiction
Available in: eBook
Published: August 30, 2021
Price: $4.99

Purchase Links: Apple | BN | Kindle | Kobo | Smashwords

When Darcy Edwards left the big city and moved to a little town in Montana, she wanted a big change. However, she wasn't expecting to find out that not only do werewolves exist but she was the mate of the future alpha.

Dustin was the future alpha of his pack and had been unable to find his mate and future Luna. He wasn't expecting her to be the new human police officer that moved to town. The hard part was figuring out how to tell her she was his mate.

When rogues threaten to destroy their peaceful life, can Darcy and Dustin keep each other, their family, the pack and the town safe?

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

Branches slapped my face as I ran through the forest in the dark. I could hear the dogs and other officers on either side of me as we all advanced. We were chasing an armed escaped convict from the state penitentiary. I could make out his shadow every once in a while, when he ran through a patch of moonlight shining down through the trees. I picked up my pace to try and close the distance between us. As I got closer, I yelled for him to stop. I aimed my pistol at him as I gave the command. He ran into another shadow, and I lost sight of him. I followed the sound of his footsteps crashing through the underbrush.

I could see a clearing ahead lit up by the full moon. As I reached the edge of the clearing, I saw the convict standing in the middle. I aimed my pistol and yelled for him to put his hands on his head. He didn’t move. I yelled at him again, but he wasn’t paying attention to me. I kept my eyes on him, so I couldn’t see what he was staring at. I started making my way towards him. When I had gotten halfway to him, I yelled again.

“Put your hands on your head, or I will shoot.”

“Alright, I’ll do it. Don’t shoot, just save me from it.”

I didn’t know what he was talking about. He must be crazy. He put his hands on his head, and I quickly cuffed him. I searched him and found his pistol. I took it. He continued staring straight ahead. I made sure I had a good hold on his arm, then decided to see what had him so scared. I turned to look, and my eyes widened in surprise. There sat a very large sandy brown colored wolf with blue eyes. It wasn’t growling or anything. It just sat there watching us. It cocked its head to the side as if to study us from a different angle.

“Get me out of here,” the convict pleaded.

I could hear the other officers getting close.

“Hey Edwards, did you get him?”

I glanced over my shoulder and saw Officer Harris. “Yeah, I got him, but be careful; there’s a…” I had turned to look back at the wolf, but it was gone.

Harris came up beside me. “There was a what?”

“There was a wolf sitting right there.”

“A wolf? There aren’t any wolf packs around here.”

“I thought Montana had a lot of wolves?”

“We do, but not around here. They were driven off.”

“It was sitting right there though,” I said pointing at the spot where the wolf had been.

“Sure it was.”

“Hey, he even saw it.” I motioned to the convict.

“It was probably just a stray dog. I’ve lived here a long time and there’s never been a wolf here.”

“If you say so.”

The rest of the officers arrived in the clearing. As we walked towards the rest of them, I looked back once more, but there was no sign of the wolf. We all made our way back to the cars. Most of the officers here tonight were from other towns, as our town only had three officers: Chief Phillips, Officer Harris and myself. I booked the convict in at the jail for the night. The state pen guys would be by in the morning to pick him up.

Author Bio:
I am from a small town in Arizona. I have been working on becoming a writer for quite a few years now and am finally making that dream come true. I am an avid reader as well. I read and write a wide variety of genres including, romance, western, contemporary, fantasy, historical fiction and paranormal, to name a few.
I love animals, especially horses and dogs. I currently have two huskies.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Sample Saturday - September 26, 2020. Surprising Charity

On this special occasion, I'm resurrecting "Sample Saturday," which was a regular feature here on my blog three or four years ago. Why? Because I'm about to launch a new novel!

(EDITED: I've done a bit of housekeeping on this post, so the post of September 26, 2020, is showing up with today's date.)

Surprising Charity: Shenandoah Neighbors
New Mexico Territory, August 1867

A transplanted Civil War Widow. A grief-stricken New Mexican landowner. A persistent ghost with an odd demand.

When Pedro Chaves arrives in Albuquerque begging Charity Bingham to marry him at the behest of her late husband’s ghost, she is stunned. She thought her life would be lived out baking pies and bread for hotel guests and loving on her increasing brood of grandchildren. Now, this man she barely knows wants a marriage of convenience.


Charity Bingham sat on the wooden veranda of the Albuquerque House in a brand-new rocking chair, taking in the late afternoon sun as it slanted under the porch roof to bathe her in light. The day’s heat increased by the hour, but she welcomed this respite in the outdoor air.

She wore her workaday outfit of a light-colored muslin bodice and skirt, patterned with sprigs of moss roses, and a gathered white cap of softer fabric that covered both the crown of her head and the knot by which she had captured her blonde hair that morning. Two nights before, she thought she had spied a gray hair as she brushed her locks, but before she could pluck it out, it had disappeared into the still abundant tresses. Although she usually wore her flour-covered apron from morning until night, she had abandoned it before she left the kitchen.

Charity oversaw the meals and baked bread and pastries for the guests of this, the only hotel in the town. She didn’t mind the familiar work, but the air in the stifling kitchen was too heavy and close for her taste.

. . .

A lone horseman appeared out of the mouth of a street leading to the plaza, skirted the side of the square, then turned onto the road that passed in front of the hotel. He sat upright in the saddle, wearing a long tan duster and a felt hat of the same color. As he came closer, Charity felt a slight flutter in her chest. She recognized the gentleman on horseback from the previous winter. He was the gracious host who had given her and her traveling family shelter from a blizzard.

What business brought Don Pedro Chaves so far south?

The don was a married man with a charming wife, so Charity couldn’t explain the fluttering sensation. She had no reason to have any girlish notions about him, and indeed, she never had done so up to this moment. However, to her great chagrin, the flutter continued. In fact, she also felt her cheeks heating up, causing her a fair bit of consternation at her reactions to the man’s sudden appearance in her town. What a bother!

As she watched in increasing discomfort, Don Pedro rode nearer and nearer to the hotel. His hair, visible below the bottom edge of his hat, glistened silver in the sunlight as he approached.

Charity snatched the white cap off her head and patted her hair into order, chiding herself for her foolishness as she did so, and at the same time, wondering why his hair was not as she remembered it: a dark brown that gleamed in the light.

He drew his horse to a stop before a hitch rail pounded securely into the earth. His face appeared thinner than last winter, more drawn than she had seen it before. Lines that had not been in evidence when last she saw him creased his cheeks, and she caught her breath at his worn appearance. Has the man been ill?

Don Pedro dismounted with a fluid grace and paused beside the horse for a moment, slapping his hat against the linen garment that hung below his knees. Dust billowed momentarily in the breeze, then settled on the street. He wrapped his bridle reins around the hitch rail and strode toward the steps. At a closer view, the hair on his head appeared to have changed color from when she had first met him. Mere months ago, as she had just recalled, it had been a rich, dark brown with a slight amount of silver mixed in. Now his head was capped with a preponderance of silver hair, with only a scattering of brown. He must surely have been profoundly ill.

She saw him paste on a smile. It seemed to cost him effort, and she again wondered why he had come. Her hands trembled in her lap. She stuffed the cap under her skirt.

By now his dark eyes were fixed upon hers, and as he reached the top step, his hat twitched in his hand, then he approached where she sat motionless and upright in the rocker.

She didn’t know what to do with her hands. Why hadn’t she brought a piece of hand work with her to the veranda? She curled her fingers into balls, watching him come, then rose to her feet as he stopped before her.

Señora Bingham.”

He said no more, standing like a statue, upright, holding his hat in two hands before him, like a shield.

Señ- Don Pedro,” she stammered. “What a surprise to see you.”

He gazed about the porch. “Is there a place where we converse in the private?”

As she mentally chastised herself for harboring a foolishly fluttering heart, his accented and slightly unconventional English fell on her ears as though the words were musical notes.

“Yes. There are seats in the lobby inside. Come with me.”

He took one step back and waited until she had passed in front of him, then followed, his boot heels clicking on the planks as the rowels on his spurs tinkled in accompaniment to his stride.

He leaned around her to open the door and she entered the lobby, unsettled by how closely he followed her. After a few steps, she gestured to a nook before a window that overlooked an alley that ran along the side of the building. A pair of green upholstered chairs stood in the nook, pointed toward the alley view. Small side tables braced the chairs.

She walked in front of one of the chairs and remained standing as he set his hat on the table beside him and took a seat.

“You have come far.” She pointed toward the back of the hotel. “May I bring you a refreshment from the kitchen?”

. That is to say, ‘yes’. If you have the glass of water?” He made it a question with the rising inflection in his voice, then added, “I do not require more than that.”

“Water we do have. Freshly drawn and cool from the well.” She cast off the uncertain maiden in favor of the gracious hostess and left him for a few moments to retrieve a tumbler of water as well as her equilibrium.

She brought back two tumblers on a tray, along with a half-filled pitcher. She’d brought along the second tumbler in case she decided to join him. Her throat certainly had become parched since his arrival.

She set the tray on the nearest table, poured water into the first tumbler, and handed it to him, relieved that his fingers did not touch hers. She cleared her throat. “You are far from home, señor.”

He drank of the water and swallowed. “I am,” he agreed.

Having decided she needed a drink of water, too, she filled the second tumbler, and then sat.

“Have you come to Albuquerque on business?” She sipped her water.

“In a way,” he said, avoiding her eyes as he again drank. “Not, you will please understand, in the usual way of business.”

“You have my entire attention.”

Don Pedro drained his glass, took in a large quantity of air afterward, then seemed to hesitate.

“Yes?” she prompted.

He pursed his lips and exhaled most of the air.

She waited, getting a sense that he struggled with dire distress. “Sir, have you trouble?”

“Oh, my dear señora, you cannot know of the trouble I have.” He paused, and his dark eyes became luminous, as though they had a film of tears. “I have come to pedir, to ask you a very great favor.” He rose from the chair, took a step, then fell to his knees before her. “Dear señora, you will do me the honor to become my wife?”


"Oh my! Do you think, no, that is impossible. She would not--

Or would she?

After you buy and read Surprising Charity, please consider posting a review to make my day.

E-Books are $3.99: Kindle | NOOK | Kobo | Apple | Smashwords (all formats)
You may also use this Universal Book Link to buy at your favorite digital store.
Print Books are $11.99Amazon

Friday, September 25, 2020

Fresh Book Friday - Horace & Bunwinkle

Today I'm spotlighting a newly-released book for children. Take a look!

Title: Horace & Bunwinkle
Author: PJ Gardner
Genre: Young Middle Grade animal series

Available in: Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook
Published: September 15, 2020
Purchase Links: Harper Collins | Amazon | BN

Description: The first in a young middle grade animal series in which an anxious Boston Terrier and an exuberant potbellied pig team up to solve crimes in their barnyard—from debut author PJ Gardner, with illustrations by David Mottram.

(Perfect for fans of the Mercy Watson series, The Trouble with Chickens, and A Boy Called Bat.)

Horace Homer Higgins III despises dirt. And the outdoors. And ducks. But when his person, Eleanor, moves to a farm called the Homestead, the anxious Boston Terrier is forced to adapt. As if that isn’t enough to strain his nerves, Ellie adopts a perpetually cheerful potbellied pig named Bunwinkle to be his baby sister.

Bunwinkle is delighted to be on the farm despite the stuffy demeanor of her new canine brother. She’s sure she’ll crack his shell eventually—no one can resist her cuteness for long—especially once they bond over watching a TV pet-tective show.

When the duo discovers that neighborhood animals have been disappearing, they decide to use their new detective skills to team up to solve this barnyard mystery. Is it a mountain lion? Or their suspiciously shot-loving veterinarians?

Only one thing seems certain: if they don’t figure it out soon, one of them might be next!

Excerpt from Chapter 2:
Bunwinkle looked over at Boy Dog. “We’re not twins.”
He slumped down on the seat. “I know.”
“'Cause you’re a dog and I’m a pig.”
“Correct,” he said. Then he muttered under his breath, “What was Eleanor thinking? Adopting a pig.”
“Hey, what’s wrong with adopting a pig?” Bunwinkle asked.
“Well, you see, pigs are not pets. They’re barn animals, plain and simple. Which means I am going to have another animal to watch over and no one to help me protect my human.”
“I can be a protector.”
“I don’t think so. You’re far too little.”
Bunwinkle hopped up on her feet and glared at Boy Dog. “I am not!”
He looked down his muzzle at her. “Really? You really think you can follow the Guardian Creed? ‘Ask not what your human can do for you—ask what you can do for your human.’”
“You made that up.”
“I’ll have you know John F. Kennedy said that.”
“Who’s that?” She glared at him. “Some dog you hang out with?”
Horace huffed. “He was not a dog. He was president of the United States. He came from New England, just like I do. However, if he had been a dog, he definitely would have been a Boston Terrier.”
She tilted her head to the side and pretended to be asleep.

Author Bio:  PJ Gardner lives in Gilbert, Arizona, with her husband and sons as well as Rosie the Boston Terrier. For research purposes for her book, Horace & Bunwinkle, PJ spent hours playing with the potbellied pigs that live down the road from her. Visit her at

Congratulations, PJ!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Sometimes I wonder

Is the English language changing right before my eyes?

In the newspaper, I'll see articles that skip verbs. Verbs, people, the lifeblood of sentences!

A couple of days ago, I read a blog post from a favorite author that left out several instances of the word "to." Essential instances.

Am I going batty? Are my eyes betraying me?

Or has the relaxed atmosphere of texts and social media spilled over to taint valuable information?

What do you think?

Am I just a curmudgeon?

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