I have been dragging my heels, with a serious case of writer's block keeping me from starting this article. As I read back that first sentence, it occurs to me to wonder how in the world I could be dragging my heels when I'm actually sitting down.
Looking up "dragging one's heels," I discover that it's an "idiom," and have found the definition. Sure enough, it applies, because according to "AudioEnglish.net," it means, 'to postpone doing what one should be doing,' and also offers other related terms; "dilly dally," "stall," and "shilly shally." To further prove to my readers that I'm really not dilly dallying, I'm going to do my best to fulfill a Dutch proverb that I just learned, and that is "A good start is half the job done." That means that with no further procrastination on my part, I'm going to give you some great ideas for reading material that will keep you from dilly dallying from visiting your local branch of JCPL. I always keep my promises, so here are some great, new fiction titles to help you ring in the New Year!
We'll begin with a question; would you stay in a haunted house for a whole night or more, where ghostly things, like cellar doors opening on their own and hushed whimpering, take place? "The Secret of Crickley Hall" by James Herbert visits the "other side" as the Caleigh's, with reasons of their own, decide to stay in the house, known to be haunted. Page after suspenseful page, the terror mounts and the nightmare is in full swing, and the Caleigh's realize that not only is their sanity at risk, but their very lives, as well, all because of the secret of Crickley Hall.
Maddie McGlade, now in her nineties, receives a letter. This correspondence, written by the last of the former nanny's charges, is the unburdening of a secret; a secret that had been hidden for over seventy years. Set in Northern Ireland, the story unfolds as Maddie tells the tragic story of Charlotte Ormond's death, a little girl whose mother is tried, convicted and condemned to prison in "The Butterfly Cabinet" by Bernie McGill.
Rules abound for the wolves of Wide River Valley. Young Kaala of the Swift River Pack has broken the rules, and the consequences of her actions lay hidden beneath the rules of the pack. Will she be able to find a way for the humans of the Wide Valley and the wolves to live in harmony? Kaala must find a way to redeem herself with her pack and prove herself worthy of her pack before the Greatwolves take over, destroying every wolf and human in the valley in "The Secrets of Wolves" the second installment of The Wolf Chronicles by Dorothy Hearst.
The year is 1944, and Grace Anderson, Lena Maki and Lena's mother, Violet, are working for the war effort. The anxieties of wartime, however, are ever present, and their fears for the men that they love are very real. When tragedy strikes, the result is turmoil in the lives of these women, and they know beyond the shadow of a doubt that their lives will never be the same. Five decades pass, and Violet's great-granddaughter returns to the small farmhouse, uncovering one dark secret after another, finally finding unexpected redemption from the tragedy of her own life in "I Gave My Heart to Know This" by Ellen Baker.
Orphaned and lonely, Agnes White breaks through the barriers of her day and pursues her unladylike interest in science, becoming one of the world's most celebrated women doctors of her time. Inspired by her father, who was imprisoned for murder and later acquitted, Agnes is on a mission to find him, pursuing clues in her quest, learning along the way that even a world-renowned expert in the physical workings of the heart is not versed in the feelings stored in the human heart in "The Heart Specialist" by Claire Holden Rothman.
To dilly dally is to delay, waste time, diddle daddle, fritter away and get no place fast. Other phrases include trifle, toddle, or "warm a chair." Now you're talking! "Warm a chair" is right along the lines of what I have in mind, but the best way to keep that chair warm is with a book in your hand, so don't dilly dally, get straight to your local branch of JCPL and THEN warm that chair!