Mary Haskett, Author

Writing to Inspire. Speaking to Encourage

A Tale of Two Cities. by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is a mesmerizing read. This classic tale set in the time of the French revolution portrays the evil and the good in man.

Dickens brings to life, with his skillful use of language, scenes of the French poor, spurred to anger and hatred by the injustices incurred upon them by the French aristocracy. By degrees,  the reader is pulled in to observe all, to see the relentless murderous mob as it seeks revenge. To witness day after day innocent victims with hands tied behind their backs trundled through the streets of Paris to Madame Guillotine, adults and children alike. And to understand and at the same time, revile the unforgiving Madame Defarge who filled with hatred for injustices done to her family, sits and knits at the foot of the guillotine, along with her peers, reveling as heads fall.

Across the sea in England, society is more civilized. In London, the reader meets a variety of characters, Charles Darnay, formerly Evermonde, Lucie his wife, and Lucie’s father, all have escaped from France. Charles feels compelled to return, and rescue his overseer wrongly imprisoned. He meets the same fate-imprisonment. Lucie and her father set out to save him.

In the shadow of this drama is one, Sydney Carton, a heavy drinker. Through these turbulent times, he reflects on his own life and repents and emerges a changed man.   “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die.” This truth spoken by Jesus plays in his mind and he, now a kind and loving person devises a plan to take Charles place at the guillotine. He is similar to Charles in stature and looks, and loves the woman Charles has married.

Sydney arrives in France, makes all the right contacts and with singleness of purpose takes Charles place in the prison. He has previously arranged for the escape of the Darnay family back to England.

 If you have never read a Tale of Two Cities, you have doubtless heard of Sydney Carton’s last words as he went to the guillotine. “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done:  it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” He emerges at the end of this tale as a true and noble hero, laying down his life for another.

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Duke the Chihuahua Writes! by Donna Fawcett


A Self-Help and Slightly Crazy Book on How to Write.

By Donna Fawcett

 Meet Duke the Chihuahua, a rum bumptious pug with a yen to write. Duke spends a great deal of time with his neighbour, Donna Fawcett, who happens to be an award winning writer. Inspired by her success, Duke takes up residence in her home. Well in her office most of the time.

This e-book revolves around Donna helping Duke to understand the writing world. The whole book reads in light banter with Donna telling the reader, about her conversations with Duke and her efforts to help him achieve his goals. Later in the book, we meet Bee, a German shepherd, and a few other canine characters. Fawcett’s style will doubtless put smiles on the faces of readers as they visualize Duke the Chihuahua, with his bulging eyes and stumpy legs dancing the Mac-arena on the office floor, after thinking he has hit the jackpot by writing an e-book.

The thrust of Fawcett’s book is not an in-depth tutorial on how to write, in fact, she addresses that herself, advising serious beginners to take writing courses. Although she does explain, point of view, transitions and a few other key elements. What she does do, and with skill, is inform the reader of the endless facets of the writing world from, conferences to agents, editors, publishers, critique groups, the disappointment of rejections and the highs of acceptance. As Duke and his peers learn a thing or two the reader, especially the beginner reader, will come to appreciate the nuances of the writers’ world, and will certainly be encouraged to pursue their dreams. 

To learn more about Donna and her many publications visit 


25,000 Mornings-Ancient Wisdom for a Modern Life by Fay Rowe

In the preface of her latest book, Fay Rowe writes: Dear Friend, A few years ago a television ad for the State of Michigan, said we have 25,000 mornings, give or take a few.”

Rowe reflected on this statement and considered her mornings. How did she spend them? Did she keep God in each of her days? She determined the need to be intentional in this matter, and out of this decision, she shared her thoughts in 25,000 Mornings.

 25,000 Mornings gives the reader 160 little gems—devotionals to be exact. There’s a certain slant to these devotionals, pulling the reader in, so instead of reading one a day, the temptation is to keep the pages turning, and then reflect on the sentence at the end. A gentle word of encouragement such as; Today talk to God about your dreams, or Today live on the rock and hide behind God’s word, or Today keep your heart full of love and keep it free.  She then concludes with a scripture that pertains to the gem.

Laughter is good medicine, and Rowe punctuates some of her devotionals with humour. Often one can see oneself in some of her writings. On page 110,  the devotional entitled, To Do or Not to Do discusses the Israelites in the desert and how God instructed Moses to tell them to go forward into the sea, and the hesitancy regarding that whole issue. Fay notes; “As someone who doesn’t like to get wet, I don’t fault the Israelites for needing a bit of a push into the sea!” On page 66, there’s, Moose and Deer and Bears. Oh my!  Many life situations are shared with a reminder that God is in the midst of all our days. These devotionals  will surely put a smile on the face of the reader, and more importantly each one will cause inner reflection on one’s own life.

On page one of 25,000 Mornings Rowe states: On starting out or starting over, there’s excitement in it and anxiety. In either case, it is an affirmation of life.  How true! This book is an engaging read.

Author: Fay Rowe

Title: 25,000 Mornings (Ancient Wisdom for a Modern Life)

Publisher: West Bow Press-A division of Thomas Nelson 2012

169 pages. Available on Amazon $13.99 US $12.54 CND $3.99 Kindle

ISBN: 978-1-4497-3369-8


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