Book Jacket

 

rank 159
word count 14563
date submitted 22.03.2012
date updated 25.03.2013
genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance
classification: moderate
incomplete

The Wishing Place

Mindy Haig

“Then scream, Val. Go ahead! But don’t you wish you were never born or I will be left alone in the world missing you.”

 

The Wishing Place was magical. You went to sleep and you could be there, if it chose to take you. On those lucky nights you could do anything you wanted and have anything you could think to ask for. You could even see the future. But what if you had to wait 16 years for the vision to become reality?

Valerie Porter was a lonely little girl. Her world fell apart when Granny passed away and her parents' troubled marriage ended in a bitter divorce. Her only solace lay in Granny's fairy tales and the secret Granny shared with her alone - the secret of The Wishing Place.

Granny said what The Wishing Place showed was real. She promised Valerie that there was true love in the world waiting for her. Unfortunately, a promise wasn't much to hold on to when Valerie became an unwelcome stepchild.

One night, Valerie asked The Wishing Place to show her something special - something really important. What she got was an eight-year-old boy named Nickolas Rossi who was everything she could want in a friend. But was he just a dream or could he fulfill Granny's promise and make happily ever after a reality?

 
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tags

adolescence, divorce, dreams, fantasy, fate, fiction, love

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lauraemmons wrote 463 days ago

The Wishing Place by Mindy Haig

This is such a captivating story! I read the whole 130k in a day. I only stopped reading when I had to take care of my kids. I think we all wish that a place like the wishing place were real. We'd all like to believe that when truly bad things happen to us, we can go to sleep and be swept away somewhere safe, to someone safe.

One of the things that makes this story great is that we see inside the thoughts of both the man and the woman. We see them meet as children. We see them grow up together. We see them fall in love. But the whole time they aren't together, and the unrequited love aspect of the story just ripped apart this old romantic's heart.

The characters are completely believable. The situations are frighteningly accurate. The amount of detail you put into describing their emotions is what makes them real to us. They question whether they are real to each other. Is that why they are so open with their feelings? Do they let their guard down because they're not sure if the other person is real?

I love how you juxtaposed Nick's normal, safe, and comfortable life with the trauma Val suffers. We believe that without Nick's visits, and the hope he gives her, she might have committed suicide at 12.

I wonder if seeing Val's pain is what makes him more sensitive than other boys his age. Of course his strong, loving family is what grounds him. But I wonder if he would have been less chivalrous with girls in his pre-teen/early teen years if he hadn't already seen what a broken family could do to a person.

I was surprised at the twists and turns in Val's story. You described Levi's complicated life very well. I appreciated the new family that Val builds around those she loves the most. Her strength is an inspiration.

I thought it was interesting that you only let Nick have one night stands during their adult years apart from each other but Val has a second serious relationship. Did you do that because her traumatic childhood meant she needed to understand love in many forms before she was ready to make a life with Nick? I found myself worrying about Jack. I'd like to think that he would find someone someday also. I didn't like that the only glimpse we see of his future was as a tired, old professor. I'd like to know that he finds happiness, too.

Tommy's character arc is fantastic. I loved his eight year old tirade that sounded like a fourteen year old. My son is eight and even if he knows those words, he would never say them. But he's smart, like Tommy, and if his life were that bad, well, I could see it happening.

Chapter 27 is where my heart burst, it's so well written. What else can I say?

You've done a fabulous job with this novel. I hope it gets published by a really big publisher and they make a movie about it. Six stars from me.

The one suggestion I would make is in regard to the younger years. At the age of twelve I don't think we see our parents for who they really are. Even if they're bad. So when Val says her mother is "superficial and selfish" that didn't ring true. It's usually only when we leave our parents home that we begin to see them as others do. If Val were a real twelve year old, she might be confused at why her mom is so willing to cause her pain, but not put all the pieces together about her mom's personality.

Found a few typos. Chapter 6 "She sang like and angel."
Chapter 11 "They're just star to me."
"...but focus was definitely and issue."
Chapter 17 "Yes, and it is blissfully quite!"
Chapter 26 Paragragh with "Very rarely do I get an artist." has a couple of typos in following sentences.
Chapter 28 near the end "Tommy smiled." shoud be "I smiled."

All the best!
Laura Emmons
Seeing Magic

Wussyboy wrote 602 days ago

I've read about 12 chapters of your book, Mindy, and I'm with Maeve - I just don't want to put it down. This is without doubt one of the best and most satisfying books I've read on Authonomy. I'm not sure if I quite understand it, how two children friends can enter a 'wishing place' at age 8 and their love for each other becomes real 16 years later, but oh, how I wanted to be one of them, how I wanted to be in that place where every wish - even my mother's delicious ghoulash - came true! I expected the wishing place to fade away, to become more difficult to enter, as the children grew older, but not so, Val and Nick actually make love at 17 and continue doing so in dreams until they can do so in the world of reality at 24. I suspended my disbelief on two grounds - the writing is first-class and I really WISHED it to be true. In fact, if I had my way, I would enter the wishing place and wish this wonderful book onto the bookshelves of every retailer in the country. Six stars from me, and waiting for a shelf.

Joe Kovacs
Ginger the Buddha Cat

p.s. as Maeve said, this is a very long book. I looked for places to cut it, but couldn't, it's such a great read.

Maevesleibhin wrote 709 days ago

Mindy,
I have read fourteen chapters, about half way through, which is not bad, as you have 130,000 words up.
And yet, I really don´t want to put it down.
There have been very few books on Authonomy, or beyond, that have had quite such an effect on me. It is a very sentimental effect, and I sometimes found myself feeling a bit resentful at the fact that you could bring me close to tears. I kept wanting to find fault with the book- it seems that something this simple should not be effective. But there is something real and lovely about it. It is unpretentious and sometimes slightly blemished. But so very sweet and loveable. You must be one of the most romantic people outside of the Spanish Speaking world. This is a lovely book of true love, with all its wrinkles and jabs.
Usually when I comment on a book I go off about the plot and hook, character development, etc. It almost seems wrong with this book, for some reason, but I will give it a try.
Hook and Plot- I think one of my favourite hooks on autonomy is Val poking Nick repeatedly. It is so cute and so funny, and makes so much sense afterwards. And it is such a metaphor for true love- you just keep poking to make sure he is real and never stop.
I loved it, and it hooked me irreparably. Eventually, the hook becomes the vision of the future- which is funny, because knowing the future is normally a good way of not being interested. But Val's life is so difficult that i kept wanting to watch how it progressed.
At certain points I felt that the book was entirely too long. But I never got bored. The issue has been that I have paused at chapter fourteen because I felt guilty about not taking a look at other return reads. But not because I got bored. And the book still calls at me when I am choosing which book to read next.
And you made me cry a bit, and that is a very high compliment, although I sometimes do that easily.
The plot, following the two from a tender age to (as far as i have read) the complicated age of adolescence, never became tedious. I was so angry with Val's family, and I frankly thought when her mother got found out that I would find it overdone. But, I was so angry at that point that I was pleased that the revenge was so satisfactory.
I did find myself bothered by Val getting hitched with another boy. But you handle this so well- Nick is just a dream at that point, so why should she not.
Character Development- You do this very, very well. I feel I know these two really very well, but not only that, Nick's family is so clear, as is Val's friends. Perhaps the only two characters that are ever so slightly stretched are Val's parents. Her father is a bit too oblivious and her mother a bit too evil to be believable. However, I don't know if this is such a bad thing. I mean, it is a book about a magic place where anything is possible- this is not necessarily the place for realistic characters.
Getting back to Val and Nick, I don't think these characters could be better developed. In a sense, they are not just two characters- they are a dozen- two for each year between 8 and 17 (so far, minus the years you skip).
Writing- Although this is not poetic writing, it is well written and very engaging.
I find myself loving this book, almost in spite of myself. There is something beautiful in its simplicity.
I have given it top stars and will put it on my shelf in an upcoming shuffle.
All the best,
Maeve

Julio Guzman wrote 742 days ago

Hi Mindy,

This is such a unique story! The idea is brilliant and it's defintely nothing like I've read before. Your writing flows really well, your dialogue is both realistic and fit for your characters. Your descriptions are vivid without boring the reader with too much detail. I've only read the first chapter so I'm not sure if the whole book reads like this. I know Nick and Valerie are only eight in this chapter so there's this youthful feel to it.

There's this kind of mystery that makes want to keep reading so I will!
Six stars, good luck! :)

ShirleyGrace wrote 264 days ago

Mindy:
Two beautiful children, Nick and Val and their wonderful world of make believe. The innocence of children taken all too soon by the cares and troubles of adults. All this spoiled perhaps by the real world and no wonder they want to hang on to it. I would as well.. I love the dialogue you have given your characters and your descriptions are great. It is well written and I could find no fault. There is mystery in this wonderful place that you have created and I like it a lot. Starred well and remains on my W/L Soon to back I hope.
Shirley grace
The Devil's Stepchild

carol jefferies wrote 286 days ago

Hi Mindy

The Innocence of Youth

This is a GSWTCG review (Good story well told critique group)

I stumbled upon this story while looking for chic lit, and really enjoyed the three chapters uploaded.

The dialogue between the two main characters, Nickolas and Valerie is brilliant. I imagine you must have had a lot of experience with children to have created such natural dialogue, and to talk about what interests children. The quality of the children's dialogue reminded me of Cormac Mc Carthy's, 'The Road.'

I liked the way the chapters flit from each child's experience of finding themselves taken away to a secret place where wishes come true. I also liked the way it exasperates them that they have no control over when this will happens which adds to the tension.

The three chapters uploaded writes about their experiences in ''The Wishing Place,' when they are both 8,9,10 and 11.

Each child tries to experiment with activities they experience in the wishing place and to their delight, the evidence of these activities can be brought back to them in the real world.

The wishing place is particularly valuable to Valerie, who feels rejected by her parents, and her friendship with Nickolas provides her with welcome support.

One day both hope to find each other in the real world.

Well done and backed.

Carol Jefferies
(The Witch of Fleet Street)

Janet/Helen wrote 386 days ago

The Wishing Place. Ch 1 to 3

I'm not normally drawn to Chick Lit, but I saw this recommended on a forum and, having read the pitch, found myself captivated by this story. Nick and Val are engaging characters and the contrast between their lives in the 'real' world had me following the development of their friendship with eager anticipation and, yes, that old cliche applies - I couldn't put this down. Only three chapters available at the moment and they certainly left me wanting more.
Maximum stars for the first three chapters and onto watchlist for future backing. Janet

Janet/Helen
The Stranger In My Life

Michelle Richardson wrote 399 days ago

Hi Mindy, I just noticed your book and I loved the title. A really terrific opening chapter and a nice pace and voice to your writing. High stars and I've popped you on my WL to read more x Great job.
Michelle - 43 Primrose Avenue

Vithereader wrote 400 days ago

A lovely lovely story.

D. S. Hale wrote 414 days ago

Sigh. I wish I had a wishing room when I was young. I needed that when I was lonely. Instead, I had pen and paper had to make my own wishes come true on paper. You write very well. The scenes are vivid, and the story enchanting. You make the reader enter their world, which is what a writer dreams of doing! Great job, and high stars!

Sincerely,
Donna
Jessup and the Teleporter

Jed Oliver wrote 424 days ago

Indescribably beautiful. Marvelous!
Jed Oliver (Saving Bob)

Lynn1214 wrote 434 days ago

This is such a unique and wonderful story! I've only had a chance to read the first four chapters, but it's great so far. Never fear, I'll be back to devour more. =) Keep up the good work!

MC Storm wrote 443 days ago

I read the first 3 chapters and skipped to end. I loved the characters Nick and Val and there special place. It truly is a unique book and makes you want to go to the Wishing Room.
High stars!
MC Exposed

kata wrote 452 days ago

Back for chapter two!

I likes this, even more than chapter one maybe. There's just a little more depth to it, deeper emotions, and feelings growing. Nick has depth of character, and a great one at that. What a sensitive boy, he reminds me of my nephew!]
I have nothing to crit, I just felt, uh oh, I am getting pulled into this, invested in it! So I will come back for chapter three soon.

Kata
Twell

Seringapatam wrote 462 days ago

Wow, I was totally in this story and so with it. I applaud your ability to engage the reader and then hold them in this book. I loved it. You have character description down to a T and I kept feeling I was each one of them throughout. The story is amasing and your attention to detail is equally as good. So well done for this and I score this high as I think its a winner.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you? Happy New Year. Sean

lauraemmons wrote 463 days ago

The Wishing Place by Mindy Haig

This is such a captivating story! I read the whole 130k in a day. I only stopped reading when I had to take care of my kids. I think we all wish that a place like the wishing place were real. We'd all like to believe that when truly bad things happen to us, we can go to sleep and be swept away somewhere safe, to someone safe.

One of the things that makes this story great is that we see inside the thoughts of both the man and the woman. We see them meet as children. We see them grow up together. We see them fall in love. But the whole time they aren't together, and the unrequited love aspect of the story just ripped apart this old romantic's heart.

The characters are completely believable. The situations are frighteningly accurate. The amount of detail you put into describing their emotions is what makes them real to us. They question whether they are real to each other. Is that why they are so open with their feelings? Do they let their guard down because they're not sure if the other person is real?

I love how you juxtaposed Nick's normal, safe, and comfortable life with the trauma Val suffers. We believe that without Nick's visits, and the hope he gives her, she might have committed suicide at 12.

I wonder if seeing Val's pain is what makes him more sensitive than other boys his age. Of course his strong, loving family is what grounds him. But I wonder if he would have been less chivalrous with girls in his pre-teen/early teen years if he hadn't already seen what a broken family could do to a person.

I was surprised at the twists and turns in Val's story. You described Levi's complicated life very well. I appreciated the new family that Val builds around those she loves the most. Her strength is an inspiration.

I thought it was interesting that you only let Nick have one night stands during their adult years apart from each other but Val has a second serious relationship. Did you do that because her traumatic childhood meant she needed to understand love in many forms before she was ready to make a life with Nick? I found myself worrying about Jack. I'd like to think that he would find someone someday also. I didn't like that the only glimpse we see of his future was as a tired, old professor. I'd like to know that he finds happiness, too.

Tommy's character arc is fantastic. I loved his eight year old tirade that sounded like a fourteen year old. My son is eight and even if he knows those words, he would never say them. But he's smart, like Tommy, and if his life were that bad, well, I could see it happening.

Chapter 27 is where my heart burst, it's so well written. What else can I say?

You've done a fabulous job with this novel. I hope it gets published by a really big publisher and they make a movie about it. Six stars from me.

The one suggestion I would make is in regard to the younger years. At the age of twelve I don't think we see our parents for who they really are. Even if they're bad. So when Val says her mother is "superficial and selfish" that didn't ring true. It's usually only when we leave our parents home that we begin to see them as others do. If Val were a real twelve year old, she might be confused at why her mom is so willing to cause her pain, but not put all the pieces together about her mom's personality.

Found a few typos. Chapter 6 "She sang like and angel."
Chapter 11 "They're just star to me."
"...but focus was definitely and issue."
Chapter 17 "Yes, and it is blissfully quite!"
Chapter 26 Paragragh with "Very rarely do I get an artist." has a couple of typos in following sentences.
Chapter 28 near the end "Tommy smiled." shoud be "I smiled."

All the best!
Laura Emmons
Seeing Magic

MrsGray wrote 472 days ago

club Nora - ch- 2

Such a sweet, innocent romance, I can't help but get caught up in it as we watch the two grow up. I love that they found evidence that they were both 'real'. It makes me want to fast forward to when they get to meet one another for real!

April Gray
The Illusion

kata wrote 482 days ago

Cwog and return read

Hi Mindy, I usually leave crits chapter by chapter, so here are my thoughts on chapter one.

I love this concept, it's like the faraway tree mixed with a reverse of the curious case of Benjamin Button. After the first chapter I could already see the movie in my head! You write with a simple engaging prose, full of energy and I found it endearing and like the characters.

Now here's my crits. When Nick says he jumped up when Val first pokes him, it sounded like a flat description of his reaction. How about- I rolled away from her and leapt of my bed, backing away....or something to that effect.
Also, a few paragraphs later Nick says he gets up to look around the wishing room, but he is already up!

Your idea's are fun, such as the lego maze, but I felt the descriptions of these things happening were a bit rushed and basic, when you could really build up the magical aspect of it happening with more elaborative detail. If you describe how things appear with smell, touch, taste, sound (how did the cookies taste?) then it will be more exciting!

I really like the fact that Nick and Val are totally into each other from the start. But I wonder if there should be a bit more shyness or hesitation at the beginning before the learn a few things from each other, so that you see the friendship blossom ion that first chapter. Nick seems a little under reactive to waking up in a strange place with a strange girl. I'd like to see him freak out a little, before Val wins him over!

Of course these are only by thoughts, so take them or leave them as you wish! I'm looking forward to reading some more soon!

Kata
Twell

TobyC wrote 492 days ago

The Wishing Place by Mindy Haig

The pitch offers lots of promise. The concept of a Wishing Place is something many yearn for regardless of age. The draws me into the book.

The upbeat tempo of this novel grabs hold and doesn't let go. Nick is a believable character, as is Valerie. The Wishing Place sounds like a great escape for middle grade and young adult readers.

The Lego maze sounds like a lot of fun. Val and Nick have a natural relationship established at a young age.

This book is definitely a page turner. I'll be back later today to continue this comment.

Powerful image - '. . .she was shaking and twisting her fingers into the short hair by her ear.'

This story is so good that I want to skip from Val and Nick at 8 to Val and Nick at 16. You tug at the heart strings as we ache for both characters. We want Val to be freed from her abusive relationships and Nick to be awaiting her.

The text moves swiftly from one Wishing Place to the next. I'll be back to read chapter 3.

To prepare for publishing:
While this might be an upload problem, some paras are indented, others are not. It would be to your advantage to correct and repost.

A friend offered the best piece of advice when she recommended Noah Lukeman's, The First Five Pages. He's a literary agent with years of experience in the business and he offers advice on what agents look for to toss a manuscript. Doing an edit according to his guidelines will make a strong novel all that more powerful.

Consider getting in there and showing us how Val feels when she's in pain. What more does Nick see? Is her face twisted? Eyes swollen? Lip split? Is Val wringing her hands? In a fetal position? Where are her pajamas torn? Is her hair styled or cropped? The more visual stimuli you offer the reader, the fewer exclamation points you'll need as we'll experience that strong emotion. When you use this technique, your writing takes on a power all its own.

Are there other ways to show that he's angry that Val's parents reject her? Telling is utilized frequently.

Have you considered writing this as one book with two protagonists where the scenes flow from one dream to another with third person narration? It would allow us to see Nick and Valerie together from instance to instance. A wise narrative voice would provide a vehicle for showing us the drama and carefree moments without an 8 year old trying to figure out the difficult stuff. I only say this because the story is that compelling.

singfam wrote 493 days ago

Hi Mindy! Such a fascinating idea. I think everyone has dreamed of some kind of "wishing place" at some time or other. :-) I was touched by its sweet beginnings and wondered what road your story would take with each turn of events. So it kept me reading. :-) Your writing is interesting and smooth. I don't have any edits, which says a lot for your writing, because I'm usually all over that. :-
I did feel a little bounced around as you switched from Val -first person, to Nick first person- and ten back again. Maybe it would help if each switch was its own chapter. Or maybe pull back to second person . I dont know. I just got confused and jumbled at those "intersections"

The rest of my notes are personal thoughts and ponderings. :-) Feel free to discard anything not helpful. :-)

The idea of a wishing place, and these two sweet kids, has such great potential. but I got tired quickly of the year by year that seemed to take on so much of the day to day. It might help to focus on one significant- power house discovery with each segment. Look at each year, ask yourself "what is my focus this year?' "what is Nick learning about himself ?" or "what is Valerie learning this year?" and build your chapter around that bit of inspiration. Maybe one year might be Nick's year to learn something special, and the next year could be Valerie's year.
I just felt like they were just tumbling along through life. Very realistic - cause sometimes that's what we feel like what we are doing, but when you write a book about the life travels of others, these books become great, when they become inspirational. -- When a book can give us something that we haven't been able to quite put our finger on. --When we find things in their pages that turn our hearts inward to our own lives with answers, and hope. Your "wishing place" gives opportunity not just for these two to escape, and have fun and build their relationship, but for them to really have some great learning moments.

I just felt like your book has such great potential for this. It kept - almost- taking me there, but it never seemed to "satisfy the itch" It is sooo close though. If you were to pull back, and look at it from a distance, asking yourself "what is your goal for this book" and then breaking that down into chapters. You could do great things with it by adding just a little thought here and a little more thought there.

One more thing that is just my personal opinion again, is that I felt like there was too much preoccupation with the "physical" as they grew up, that led to a lot of writing about physical relationships as they got older. The story changed from the struggles they faced in their lives, to their various relationships. Again, it goes along with real life. (but there seemed to be alot of these years) And again,- as writers we have great power to guide the mind of the reader to better places. I just kind of felt like it distracted or pulled the reader away from what could be a very powerful story.

So there ya go. maybe you didnt want me to read after all. :-) :-) But your story has been very thought prevoking for me, so thanks for letting me spit out all my thoughts. You really do have a great way of writing. Your characters are good. Where you have gone into their personal thoughts you have done a beautiful job, but I feel like there is plenty of room for more of that. Personal feelings suck me right into the hearts of your character because that is what will resonate with your reader.

Anyways! great stuff. my favorite line? "She thought I was important." wow, That one simple statement carried such a power that it changed this boy's life. YOur readers will resonate with that because we all desire to be loved by someone who feels like we are important."
Fascinating! Great project! good luck to you.

I enjoyed the experience. :-)

Jeannette Singleton
Journey to Kalado're

Sneaky Long wrote 495 days ago

CWOG and CCRG Review - "The Wishing Place"

Hi Mindy,

Your writing is very good, well edited (except for a few nit-pics) and flows wonderfully. Your story is charming and unique. I didn't know what to expect when I started reading. But the strength of your writing and your unique POV combinations, kept me reading three chapters. You have a beautiful way of telling a story and this is obviously heading towards a love story.

Just a couple of nit-pics - you wrote "I was confused I thought she...." Need a coma or period after 'confused' "I liked when she was holding my hands," Perhaps at an 'it' after 'liked'.

I am now in chapter two and have forgotten about nit-pics. The story is moving well until the end of 2 where Sophie calls Nick to come up into the tower to see carved initials. This just seems a little too convenient and somewhat fanciful. It doesn't ring true. First Sophia is only 5 years old so what are the odds she would even notice scratching on the tower? Secondly, she doesn't know her brother as Nick, but as Nickolas and she doesn't know the name Val at all. So how would she make the connection? Thirdly, would she demand he climb the tower to see the scratching? Seems out of character. Wouldn't Nick want to go and see the scratching (the sole reason for his trip to the park) and insist on going up in the tower first to see for himself? Okay, enough about initials. I am going to chapter three now.

Since we are listening to eight, nine and soon to be 10 year olds, you might want edit their dialogue and thinking to conform to that age group. The second paragraph of Chapter 3 is a prime example, "My mother was enormously pregnant. She was doing her absolute best to eat for two,...." Perhaps instead, 'My mother's stomach was getting huge. She was gobbling food, trying her best to eat for two,...'

All in all you have a very touching story here. It is different and unique in its approach, at least I think it is. I'm not well versed in this genre, but regardless, it is new and different to me. And I like it.

Lots of stars and watch list. Well done!

Sneaky Long
"Trophy Wives and "Confirmed in Time"

Author Spouse wrote 495 days ago

apparently I need to leave comments as well as backing, in order for it to mean anything... who knew?

cute story... how often as children have we wondered if our dreams are true? You've created a world and a room where they can be. Excellent work

good luck on your quest for the desk

~AS~

Littleredriley wrote 501 days ago

CWOG Review.

Hey Mindy,

I loved your pitch, it was sweet, innocent and magical. Your chapter starts really well. I really like the back and forth between Nick and Valerie, i do that in my book too. They way you write it really is quite magical. I sense their excitment, and their affections for eachother. Their child-like voices is excellently done.

Their were only two things which i could notice which i thought might be helpful.
Firstly, i think the very first time that Nick goes to the Wishing Place, i wuold like more of a description. It only needs to be done the once and then the reader knows what its like every time they go there.
Also, there was one point where it was The Wishing Place and another where it was the Wishing Place. Its so minor its irrelevant really, but thought i should point it out either way.

Oh and the chapters seemed quite long for a childrens book. That could just be my personal preference though.
I read with my daughters every night and if the chapters too long, we dont get through it that night and have to start in the middle of a chapter the night after. Or i get 'jread until the end of the chapter.' which i dont mind doing, but not when i want to read a couple to them and the chapters are toolong.
Does that make sense? I think i'm waffling.

Overall i really liked this, and my daughters would love it!

I'll keep you on my WL and read some more.

Kind regards


Claire C Riley
Limerence

BlazeEyes wrote 502 days ago

CWOG and return review:

This is a brilliant idea for a story. I really want to read more. I want a dream friend.
I couldn't find any error with this chapter; spelling, grammar or otherwise. Your descriptions are vivid, but the only thing is, I can't picture the Dream Room very well. How big is it? Is it small and fluffy, like a cloud? Or is it limitless?
I'm sorry I can't give a more useful review, but I could find no faults. I wish you luck.

Blaze.
"A Shifter's Tale"

Christopher Follest wrote 504 days ago

Cwog chap 1 and 2
This is not your first day as a writer. That much is extremely obvious. I love this idea. If you don't get this published one day I'd be shocked. What an amazing story teller you are. My son is nine and he loves stories. I'm dying to read him this one. Did it come to you while you where dreaming. That happens to me and I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

I find your work to be very polished and I cannot find anything to point out. You are a much better writer than me and I'm sure my comments will help very little. As an avid reader, I think I'm good at finding things that may not sound quite right in my head and I hope what I've found helps you.

This sentence seemed off a bit. "I've never been here before. Where are we? How did I get here? I wondered out loud." I was wondering if it might read better if you italicized the thoughts and cut out "I wondered out loud" or just say at the end "I inquired, wonderingly." (bad boy I used an adverb) If Nick is wondering it out loud, might it not seem more realistic if he fumbled it a bit as he said it. Like this. "I...I've never b-been here before. How did I...um...where are we? How did I get here? I wondered out loud. It sounds like it's okay now that I've read it a few times but when i first read it something didn't seem to work.
Chapter 2 (pretty close to the top)
"...I can't even get here." she said quietly and she was shaking and twisting her fingers into the short hair by her ear."
Why not say " she said quietly "as" she was shaking and twisting her..."

I am very impressed with this manuscript. One of the best i've seen so far. For any age group. I will be back to continue reading. You can bet on it.

John Lovell wrote 507 days ago

Great start to chapter 2.

I felt sorry for them at the start, especially Val, I like the way it won't let them know where the other one is. And also seeing the future as a wish worked pretty cool, kinda makes me want to get there! haha

The flow was awesome again, I like little things such as including their birthday on there. More small details like that bring characters alive, and if you do get younger readers they'll be happy if they share the same birthday as them.

Ok but the real grip of this chapter was finding what was written in the sand. That was just like BOOM. If that happened to me now, I'd freak out, if that happened to me as a kid, I wouldn't have haha. Really cool how you've made this story original so far. Both Nickolas and Val are likeable and I can bet every person who has read any of this wants them to find each other.

One last thing - the way they behave is spot on for the ages. Great work

John

NowSpeakTruth wrote 509 days ago

This is a CWOG/YARG/CHIRG/FCCG/Or other review.
(I'll only use those that apply, I've just lost track of what's what on my wl. Sorry.)

This is beautiful. I've only just had time for the first chapter, but I really like the idea of this. It's a very original and interesting idea.
What I think could use some editing is Nick's voice. You did a very good job making sure he sounded like the eight year old he is, however in doing so, you made him a bit difficult to understand at times. Not often and not much, it just happened more than once so I figured I'd point it out and let you do what you want with that.

I love Valerie. She is such a bouncy fun character and I can't wait to see what other adventures she plans on having with Nick.

Excellent writing here,
God bless

John Lovell wrote 511 days ago

This is a CWOG Review.

I've only read the first chapter but shall get more tomorrow. Mindy you have one of the most fascinating scenes ever. I wasn't entirely sure what I was expecting but Nick and Val and this wishing place was really odd and yet excellent. The narrative what they're thinking is pretty spot on as far as I can remember being that age. I was obsessed with dinosaurs and wore the pjs quite proudly haha. And the tilting head like the I did with the science question last week line was pretty cool too.

There's a real magical feel to it. There's probably some that wonder how this place exists and would want a logical reason for it. I don't because it gets the imagination working. I can see you've thought really deeply about what to do to make a romance original and you've pulled off a great start. I know some may be put off by your word count, but when you have a great book part of you doesn't want it to end, and if the rest of it is anything like the first chapter I imagine alot of people would get that feeling with this.

John

superostah wrote 524 days ago

Just finished the first chapter and this is really really fun. It's almost like these two are each other's imaginary friends, yet, I'm guessing, there's a whole lot more to the story than that.
You description of the Wishing Place/Dream Room is pretty simple, but I think that works, as I still had no problem developing a picture in my mind of what the room looked like. It also added to the story, as it made me think that it probably appears at least slightly differently to everyone who enters.
I also really like the foreshadowing you have here of Nick being 'something important' as well as Val's statement about how the room would show her the future.
All in all, I foresee a really fun story ahead and will be back to read more as time permits. For now, you're on my watchlist.

Chris Bostic wrote 525 days ago

Mindy,

A continued review. Picking up where I left off far too long ago.

Chapter 3:
-C3, P4, I there were a couple of long, clunky sentences in this very long paragraph. They are: “…who would be stuck with me and I considered just going to that homeless shelter..” and “…he wasn’t happy because being stuck with me caused a fight…” Nothing major, but it would be nice to see a couple sentences shortened, and maybe the paragraph broken up into two or three.
-C3, P6, I got the feeling that Val had not been to the Dream Room for a very long time. Then there is a very quick transition and suddenly she is back in the room. The line: “Once again, I was sitting alone doing nothing in the whiteness” should have been a clue that Val was back in the room, but it took me a second to figure that out. A different transition might have made that flow clearer for me.
-A little farther down, I would have to disagree with the idea that a 10 year old can hit a three point shot. Unless the kid is a freaky phenom, he’d be lucky to make a free throw at that age. My 14 year old can barely make a 3-pointer.
-I love the idea of them playing ball and wishing in every shot.
-The heart on the arm thing makes me curious. I like that Nick woke up with it on his arm, but it makes me question the other stuff. When they did the mud thing, they had to wish themselves to be clean, right? Otherwise they would have come back dirty? So it is possible that dirt and markers and other stuff on their skin could come back with them??? I think you’ve been consistent. Just checking.
-Toward the end when Nick makes the luminary, you say: “I was kneading the clay and I was still thinking about reading my journal.” It seems that this would make more sense if you dropped ‘about reading’, since that hints at a later act (while he thoughts are in the present).
-Just below that, you write “the Wishing place.” Shouldn’t place be capitalized. It was in the previous couple of sentences. Also, to be consistent, earlier in the chapter you called it the Dream Room. Do each of the kids think of it by a different name?
-What a bizarre story about the grapes. That was totally unexpected. And now we know that Val can see the future?
-Whoa, they kissed? I was wondering when that was going to happen. It was sweet, though I have to get that 11 year old age out of my head.

Chapter 4:
-There’s a bit of a clunky sentence a little ways down: “She wanted me to believe there really was happiness and love out in the world so even though I was little she even told me..” It’s too long, or has too many words, or something is just not quite right.
-In Nick’s part midway down, he speaks to his dad in the car. The D in dad should be capitalized when used like a name, as in: “Hey [D]ad, when you met [M]om…”
-A typo a little farther down in: “…she’s pretty and she can sing like and angel”
-I love the way you end the chapter as though their meeting might have been a dream.

More great stuff. I hope to not to take so long next time coming back to this.
-Chris

Michael Matula wrote 525 days ago

This is a CWOG review, as well as a Young Adult Reading Group (YARG!) review:

I'm experimenting with a new commenting style. Let me know if this is annoying. It takes forever to write reviews sometimes, so I figured I'd just write stuff down as I experience it.

- I'm not sure about the short pitch, but that could just be me. Without context, I don't quite know the significance of the dialogue. I really like the long pitch, though, and it made me quite keen to read this.
- Some of the paragraphs have more than one speech tag. I'd try to keep it to just one per paragraph.
- “I was confused I thought she was going to show me something” - I'd add some punctuation to this line. Either a period or a semicolon after “confused.”
- I do love the interaction between Val and Nick. The genuine excitement is quite refreshing, and it does seem like how kids that age actually interact with one another.
- This is joyful. I just got to the sugar cookies part.
- The “swallowed us in its big fluffy softness” was great as well. I'm really enjoying the imagination in this scene. I'm not sure I've read anything like it. It's like kids playing with a magical lamp, but without the pesky genie.
- I got goosebumps when she told him to promise he'll come back, and once he said the line “And Val thought I was something important”
- Occasionally, I'm not sure about the punctuation, like in “I mean(,) I liked skateboarding(,) but writing about skateboarding was boring.” This could be personal preference, though, as commas are quite subjective, and it could just be how my mind reads things. Just thought I'd mention it, but it may well be fine as is.
- I also really liked the part where he wrote the details down. I remember doing that as a kid, after having a dream I really wanted to remember.
- I'm a big fan of seeing through different character's eyes. I like that to her, he's the one who doesn't seem real, and it's the opposite to him.
- “I just go to sleep and then I am here” - this could just be how I read it, but it seemed a bit stiff to me. I might have gone with “I'm here.” - I had the same issue with Val's next line of dialogue.
- The relationship between Nick and Val is really well done.
- It feels like this was co-written by a child. It has the great writing and storytelling of someone who's more mature, but it has all the spirit and the sense of joy and wonder of a kid.
- This is the second book in a row I've CWOGed that mentioned Pop Tarts. Great minds must think alike.
CHAPTER 2:
- “You are scaring me.” - still probably just the way I read it, but it didn't sound natural to me. I would have said “You're scaring me.”
- very effective scene with him finding her upset.
- I like that the wishing place is fighting them a bit, not letting them know where the other is. It adds another layer of mystery.
- I also like when he starts to doubt his own reality, and has to convince himself he's real
- I really think the story is fascinating. A couple lines of the dialogue still seem a tad stiff to me here and there, but I'm really digging the story. I quite like the fact that I have no clue where this story could be going.

In summary: I thought this was great, and it seems truly unique, and has some wonderful character moments. Also, it still took me forever to write this review. So...it's hard to tell if my commenting experiment went as intended, but the book sure was a lot of fun to read, so it all worked out in the end.
High stars.

Mike
Arrival of the Ageless
What, the Elf?

Jaclyn Aurore wrote 526 days ago

CWOG/YARG chap1 review
the line about the dinosaur pajamas is priceless, my only suggestion would be to drop the "but i was eight now" as we already know that. so it would read "might have been cool for a five year old, but now they were just embarrassing."
"better than just an eight-year-old boy" - i'd take out the 'just'
I think some of the formating might be off, i'm not sure if it's a glitch in autho, or in the doc you uploaded...

ha, love the line about good manners too
add commas here: "My little sister, Sophie, was an awful girl" then i'd end that sentence with 'kicked me all the time.' and start a new one 'The girls in my class...'
'in the dark whispering, "Please take me to..."' - add a comma after whispering, and capitalize "Please"
"I found myself in the there again" - take out 'the'
the thing about Nick finding Val pretty and a bunch of things is so incredibly remarkable. I love the innocence and honesty of children and that's something I wish we would carry with us into adulthood.
I also got a bit teary at the going to bed early because Val's dad's girlfriend makes her... gah, i have many a-story like that about my childhood too

This is a really beautiful story so far... these children feeling happy and special when they are together but haven't mastered yet how to stay together, or how to be together when not in the wishing place... i can only hope that they will one day discover how to do so

so incredible! - big stars
Jaclyn x
It Never Happened

AriesAirhead wrote 527 days ago

Club Nora Review Ch. 1-3

Mindy,

You captured my interest when you first explained the Dream Room/Wishing Place. How wonderful if that existed in real life (I know of a few wishes I wouldn't mind coming true). You did a wonderful job showing us the ugly side of divorces/step-parents, I felt sorry for Val because I know those things can happen in real life. The only thing I can nitpick on is the length of the chapters and Sophie. For a 2 year old in the beginning she talks very well, and reads (she read Nick+Val), let me know what school her parents sent her to, my youngest will be going there!

Good luck,
CoeDee

evermoore wrote 527 days ago

I have to tell you a secret, Mindy. If I come upon a book of many chapters, I will read the first few and then the last few to get a feel for it so I can cover many requests to read and rate. I did that with yours and am captivated. I will be reading it in whole when time allows. It's imaginative, fascinating, and a book that makes one want to believe such things happen. You have a wonderful imagination and the skills to share it. Quite a gift there, girlie!

Thank ya for sharing it...Linda

Liinsa Hines wrote 534 days ago

Hi Mindy,

Your book is a very good read and the uniqueness is the thing which pulls the reader into it. You portrayed the encounter of Nick and Val in the dream-room beautifully. I always liked first person narrative and you crafted it so elegantly that absorbs the reader into it.
'Then she died", the sentence about Grandma's death falls like a thunder directly into the heart of the reader. You could tell the pain and loss of the death without telling anything practically.
You have got a great talent in expressive writing style.
wishing you all the best.

Regards
Liinsa Hines
Behind the Revolutions- Walk with a Soul

Abby Vandiver wrote 536 days ago

I think the book is good. I think that you can write about children interacting without writing child-like. I did notice that the tone is more adult later on. Also, thus switching of POVs just to tell the same story is not good. It is distracting and makes the reader skip or tune out.

Good start.

Abby

Abbiealso wrote 539 days ago

Club Nora Review Round Two
Hi Mindy just read the second chapter and throughly enjoyed it, you pass on a lot of information rounding out the MCs Nick and Val. I like the way that outside influnces are starting to seep into the lives and enjoy the childish rationals and idealic ways they think they can deal with them. i am still finding your premise fresh and very inviting, can't think of any hints or help i can offer. Looking forward to more.
Abbie

Patty Apostolides wrote 546 days ago

Club Nora Critique -

Hi Mindy, just read chapters 2-5 and had a hard time stopping. You did a wonderful job with the characters, and their development, with different angles of relating!

I observed Nick and Val grow before my eyes, with their different families, their aspirations, and how they helped each other through these times. Val was the one who suffered the most, and Nick always seemed to help her through those times.
When they were young, they were more focused on playing, and as they grew older, began to ask more about each others' families, which I liked.

I particularly liked that part where Nick and Val saw each other grown up, and she was leaving with the train. Very nicely done!

Overall, I didn't see anything that stood out. It was very polished and an enjoyable read! Deserves a six star and Editors Desk!

Best,
Patty
The Greek Maiden and the English Lord


Chris Bostic wrote 546 days ago

Mindy,

YARG review. I’ve seen your name around quite a lot and was curious about your book. I read the first two chapters and found the story fascinating. The first half of the first chapter was maybe a little slow, but then it just suddenly became so interesting. Your imagination is incredible. My critiques can be a little harsh, so please understand that I approach this with the idea of making a great story even better. Here goes:

Part 1 – Nick 8:
-Fourth paragraph, I would switch the “kind of loud” to something more definitely. Loudly would be okay. Just don’t make the reader unsure or guess what you mean.
-Next paragraph, practically every sentence starts with ‘she.’ It would be best to avoid the repetition.
-Two more paragraphs down, you have a long sentence that could use a semicolon or a period in: “I was glad I wasn’t wearing the pajamas with the dinosaurs on the m that my mom liked[;] they might have been cool….”
-Funny line about missing school and having extra homework. I like the clever way you write.
-If Val has been to this place before, why would she think this was Nick’s room?
-The playtime with Val was so much fun. Really unique and entertaining.
-Interesting that you went back to Valerie’s mind before the chapter ended. I was expecting it to end right after Nick went to bed and nothing happened that night.
-The only word that seemed a little out of an 8 year old’s vocabulary was front loader. Maybe her dad works construction, but it sounded a little too knowledgeable for me.
-I wish we were clean was a clever way to end Val’s part.
-It made sense to go back to Nick for the conclusion. Nice opening chapter!

Part 1 – Nick 9:
-How much hair was actually cut off? The initial description makes it sound like Val is bald or maybe even partial shaved. Just a child overreacting, I suppose. Eventually we come to find out that it was just cut shorter.
-I notice you don’t use any contractions. It didn’t bother me until this line of dialogue: “so it would be okay if he was not really real.” He would almost certainly say wasn’t. There’s no problem using contractions, especially in dialogue.
-It seems odd that there is no reaction from Nick when Val kisses him on the lips.
-I’m not really finding anything to comment on. The grammar is crisper in this chapter, and the pace is very good.
-I was hoping that we would get to park to find out if the heart really existing. And we did. Glad that we did not have to wait too long for that.

Overall, the second chapter moved more quickly than the first – which is normal. You are developing the characters wonderfully. You get lots and lots of stars from me, and I’m putting this on my watchlist to hopefully come back later.

I hope you find this review helpful. I am sure you are going to do very well with this story. If you would be so kind as to return the read sometime, I would appreciate it.
Thanks, and Best Wishes,
-Chris

Kate LaRue wrote 559 days ago

YARG/return read

Mindy,
Here to return a read. Nick and Val are such very engaging characters, and the Wishing Place itself is a captivating setting. Who wouldn't want to visit a room that could give you whatever you wished for, even your soul mate. I have read through the first four chapters and skimmed through a few of the others. I don't have a lot of suggestions. I like how the voice matures as the kids get older, though I did catch a few words that seemed too mature (like in chapter five a thirteen year old Val calls her mom and stepdad 'egocentric') and sometimes in dialogue I think you could make use of contractions to make it sound a little more natural. Poor Val has no adults in her life to take care of her. Perhaps her four parental figures are a little too terrible to be believable-doesn't anyone have at least one redeeming quality? That is my biggest nit. But then again, there are an awful lot of terrible parents out there.

Very engaging, and makes me want a wishing place of my own.
Kate

Emma B wrote 560 days ago

Club Nora- Round 2

I read up to chapter five, I didn't want to stop.

Beautiful, touching, frustrating, exciting.
I love Val, her patience with Tommy, the acknowledgement of being the parent they should both have had, is perfectly portrayed. When the mother in law came to her it brought a lump to my throat. She'd finally got some recognition.
Nicks feelings toward his siblings lifted the heart and the chat with his father and his admittance to loving Val was just so realistic and heart aching.
When they kissed it brought excitement, and a little fear. The books they both choose as a favourite had, hard and painful times before finding what you need and love. After going through so much with trying to find each other every night and sharing so much, I worry about the rough before the smooth, and the way you have written these first five, I know the rest will cause me all sorts of emotional turmoil.
I could say so much more about my best bits and this last one above but I don't think I need to.
Fantastic, well done!

Emma :)

Ryan_Gomes wrote 574 days ago

Hi Mindy,

I read a bit of The Wishing Place today. This isn't my typical read, but I always return reads! I thought the switching between characters Nick and Valerie was very well done. Both of them are strong characters from the little that I've read, which is impressive. I thought your story had a very whimsical flow that fit perfectly with your prose. I would advise you to perhaps work a little on some grammar nitpicks. A few times, I noticed commas missing between clauses. Otherwise, great work!

Ryan

NinaMills wrote 580 days ago

Club Nora - The Wishing Place by Mindy Haig

The Wishing Place WAS magical! When I was little, I used to wish I could twinkle my nose like Samantha from Bewitched or nod my head like Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie, so your book resonated with me in that respect. I enjoyed getting to know Val and Nick through their time spent together and I want to read more. I will come back to do so after I've finished my other critiques. Best of luck with it!

♪ Nina ♪

KirkH wrote 593 days ago

Hi Mindy,
This is a Club Nora review.
I like the idea of kids meeting up in a dream world while sleeping, where wishes are fulfilled with trampolines, big pillows, cokkies, etc.
Now for the nit-picks:
I got confused with Nickolas starting off in the story. I thought Valarie was your main character. Perhaps you shouls re-write your synopsis. becaus eI assumed the POV would be coming mainly from Valerie.
I wouldn't use the word 'poking' twice in the same sentence - it doesn't sound good.
The sentence where Val says, "When I got here, I couldn't decide what to do...etc," It sounded more like a grown-up talking instead of a child. If you use shorter and simpler sentences, then I think you can solve that problem.
I would divide the chapter where it begins with "Valerie - 8 Years Old" and make that chapter 2.
I like the story line and the charachters and I think you have something great here.
It has potential and I'm backing that potential.
All the best
Kirk
"The Notorious Expat Wives"

Christina in AZ wrote 594 days ago

Club Nora Review of Chapter One
Mindy:
Hook - very good and quite intriguing.
Opening - It was great to start the story off with Nick, I think. Brings him into the picture early since we know (from the hook) about the MC of Valerie. Loved it!

Plot - is still quite mysterious as I have only glimpsed the first chapter. Presumably these two will fall in love; how wonderful to start at age 8...

Setting - is a mystical, magical place where your slightest and big wishes can come true.

Characters - getting a nice feel for Valerie in particular and Nick in the first chapter; nicely done. 

Dialogue - is very natural.

Point of View - from the two kids seems a little cumbersome, but, honestly, it is so great to know how they feel.

Style - is clean. In the first person for children and very realistic, I think.

Technical - I found no technical errors/ typos.

Pace - Wow! Are we going to get to see these two fall in love? I am so drawn in to such a wonderful tale.

I have to say that this is a fantastic imaginary tale with such a wonderful place, the Wishing Place. It is nice to watch the two children interact in such a place because, I think, a child would have full use and understanding of such a place. Part of me wants to get on with them and see them much older, but it is deletable to see their interactions and imaginations at work. 
I’m a little daunted by the word count shown on the website, and yet so eager to move on into this tale! I find it a very imaginative and creative work. Can’t wait to read more!
Wonderful work. Thanks for a great read. Best to you,
Christina
Modern Adventures in Sherwood Forest

ESanchez wrote 595 days ago

Club Nora Critique:

So far, from what I've read (the website had an error) I think this book has potential. A few paragraphs are way too long and need to be broken up but I love the premise. It reminds me of "Time Traveler's Wife", one of my favorite books!

Eileen Sanchez
"Craving the World"

marcie8 wrote 599 days ago

Hi Mindy,

A Club Nora Chapter One Critique:

- Overall, the piece felt fun and magical.
- Writing style was clear and easy to read. I never once felt lost or taken out of the story. Even though it was long, I was able to read it in one sitting without problem.
- time passage is portrayed clearly
- consider further reducing the word repetition and weak verbs

Plot/Pacing/Conflict:
- Having read only the first chapter, I do believe the story starts in the right place, but it feels more like a prologue to me. I'm expecting the next chapter to start with both being in their early twenties, primarily in Nick's POV.
- From an opening chapter in a romance story, I look for an introduction to the Main Character, the love interest, the story problem (and/or some indication of what may keep the couple apart), and some kind of subplot setup or external-to-the-couple conflict that will distract one or both of them. This is why your opening chapter feels like a prologue to me - there's no conflict or goal set up.
- Pacing was comfortable and felt consistent throughout

Setting:
- Love the setting. It's fun, unique, and well set up to be a character in itself.
- good use of movement to keep the pace going

Character:
- hard to comment on character with so little to go on, but both Nick and Val seemed believable to me.
- good balance of dialogue to narrative. Words spoken felt natural and appropriate to the characters.
- consider reducing the number of dialogue tags.

Overall, fun read, can't wait to come back and read more.

Thanks,
Marcie

Tod Schneider wrote 600 days ago

This is really sweet, a wonderful piece of work! I really enjoy the voice, and I think kids will too. You have a knack for establishing your world and a fine, fairy-tale-like atmosphere.
Critique-wise, there's just one thing I'm noticing -- and once I started noticing this in my own work I see it everywhere -- which is a great opportunity to streamline some unnecessary bumps of the "he said," "she said" variety -- what I call over-attribution. If we can easily tell who spoke, we can drop the attribution and it polishes up the writing a bit. A couple examples:
Instead of "She asked, tilting her head to the side..." consider ". She tilted her head to the side..."
or
instead of "she said swaying a little and stretching the word out" consider ". She swayed a little, stretching the word out."
I was surprised by how much more I liked my own writing when I did this.
In any case, please ignore me if you'd prefer, your writing is just splendid as is!
Best of luck with it!
And please do visit the Lost Wink. You and I are genre-buddies I suspect.
Thanks!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Wussyboy wrote 602 days ago

I've read about 12 chapters of your book, Mindy, and I'm with Maeve - I just don't want to put it down. This is without doubt one of the best and most satisfying books I've read on Authonomy. I'm not sure if I quite understand it, how two children friends can enter a 'wishing place' at age 8 and their love for each other becomes real 16 years later, but oh, how I wanted to be one of them, how I wanted to be in that place where every wish - even my mother's delicious ghoulash - came true! I expected the wishing place to fade away, to become more difficult to enter, as the children grew older, but not so, Val and Nick actually make love at 17 and continue doing so in dreams until they can do so in the world of reality at 24. I suspended my disbelief on two grounds - the writing is first-class and I really WISHED it to be true. In fact, if I had my way, I would enter the wishing place and wish this wonderful book onto the bookshelves of every retailer in the country. Six stars from me, and waiting for a shelf.

Joe Kovacs
Ginger the Buddha Cat

p.s. as Maeve said, this is a very long book. I looked for places to cut it, but couldn't, it's such a great read.

Patty Apostolides wrote 603 days ago

Club Nora Critique Chapter 1

Hello, this was a very pleasant, magical read. A good escape, for sure! I liked the way the children met, and their wishes coming true. I liked the way they wanted to get together, that was so cute. I could picture the surroundings, and good work on the descriptions of the children and their surroundings.

Suggestions/Nitpicks:

The point of view was a little distracting at times, because the "I" typically is meant for one point of view, and in this chapter, it is used for two people. I had to get my bearing as to which person was the "I" speaking each time. That might work better if you split this chapter into two chapters, with each child having their own POV in each chapter. Just a thought. Also, Valerie's father and girlfriend didn't seem to fit in this story. Their actions in the next room were a little jarring to the this magical story, unless that was intentional, giving the reason Valerie wished for her magical place, to escape.

"...I found myself in the there again." Should probably be "..I found myself in there again."

.."I meant, do think the most important thing.." Should probably be .."I meant, do you think the most important thing.."

Overall, very pleasant and entertaining. Highly rated.

Best,
Patty Apostolides
"The Greek Maiden and the English Lord"

Abbiealso wrote 604 days ago

CLub Nora Review Chapter One

Hi Mindy, what an original and intriguing plot. Your words flow nicely and your editing is flawless. There's not really anything that i can other that nice writing and looking forward to reading more. Highly starred. :)
Abbie

femmefranglaise wrote 608 days ago

Club Nora Review

Hi Mindy, I'll be honest and say that based on the pitch I probably wouldn't have read this but once I started it, I really enjoyed it. You write well and have definitely found the voice of your two 8 year old protagonists in the opening chapter. They are both likeable characters that the reader wants to get to know. I love the idea of the Wishing Place, who wouldn't. My only tiny criticism would be that it seemed very long and I found myself skimming a bit half way through. That said, it is an enchanting first chapter and would definitely hook the reader into continuing.

All the best with it
Melanie
La Vie en Rosé

Emma Carey wrote 614 days ago

Club Nora Critique
Hi Mindy,
I thought it was only me that had elaborate and vivid dreams! I love this story so far, just finished chapter 2 and plan to read more.
I already have ideas in my head of what I think might happen, but I'm sure there will be a twist to completely throw me.
The characters are great and very likeable. I'm sensing that they will grow with age and eventually the adult Nick and Val will be conveying the tale.
The love the fact that they can do anything in the wishing place, I think we would all love such a place. Somewhere to escape from our world into a happy place.
The story and dialogue is easy to follow and very much intriguing, encouraging the reader to turn the next page.
I like the fact that the reader is filled with so many questions, as to what happens next and most of all they want to know what happens to the characters.
This is a lovely story and I'm sure after reading this, my dreams will be affected by it tonight! I'll have a pina colada, a hunky waiter and a sun lounger on the beach in Barbados. Do you think you could conjure that up?
Best wishes Emma x

Olive Field wrote 614 days ago

Club Nora Critique:

This is a magical read. I instantly liked Val and Nick, you convey their childlike manner very well. Their innocence's is so sweet. Poor Nick worrying about is P.J's and how cool he might look.
I did keep reading and flicked forward a few chapters to see how the story progressed and I think you have a wonderful book that will appeal to a large audience. Would make a great movie.
Read nothing that jarred or worried me. Very well written and most enjoyed.
High stars, best wishes, Olive

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