Wednesday, February 19, 2020

In the Spotlight: Louise MacBeath Barbour ~ Author of "Dare Double Dare"

Over the coming weeks, the IWSG Anthology blog will be featuring posts
from each of the authors in Voyager: The Third Ghost.
Our author today is Louise MacBeath Barbour.

Louise MacBeath Barbour on her short story "Dare Double Dare" . . .

Sometimes you have to take a chance. When the IWSG announced the 2019 Anthology Contest genre and theme in May, I was disappointed and not in the mood for taking a chance.  

"Middle Grade Historical-Adventure/Fantasy? Voyagers?" I groaned. Never had I considered writing for readers that young, and my few attempts to write adventure or fantasy were pitiful. Maybe next year, I thought.

May, June, and July rolled by, and the anthology contest niggled at the back of my mind. Surely I can come up with something, I'd think. But nothing surfaced.

Then in early August I happened to be walking down the road in Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia and passed my great-grandmother's house. Suddenly it struck me: her forbidden room! Although her house was locked up and deserted, I could see that door in the upstairs hallway, that door that no one was allowed to open, let alone walk through, as clearly as if I were standing in front of it. What if two kids did what I never dared to, sneak through that door into the forbidden room? What would they find?

My Great-Grandmother's House
hooked by my great-grandmother Sara Cossaboom
Smith's Cove Old Temperance Hall Museum
Summer 2015
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

But I was "back home" visiting with my extended family, and I pushed aside the thought of the story until I returned to Colorado.

I continued to procrastinate as the days raced by and the September 4th deadline approached.
I still hadn't stepped through the door with my young protagonists Sara and Kelsey.

In late August a clap of thunder out of nowhere boomed right over our home. I was so shocked that I shot straight up out of the high chair I was sitting on at our kitchen counter and fell over backwards, landing on my tailbone in a perfect V formation. I disappeared so fast that my husband Terry, who was standing in the kitchen, thought I had been struck by lightning.

A Bolt from the Black!
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I was struck all right, not by lightning, but by a message from the Universe to get off my derrière and write that story. I wrote it sitting on a painful tailbone while Terry cheered me on and placed an occasional plate of food by my computer. Wise man, he knew better than to ask me what was for dinner or to suggest that I take a shower or get some sleep. And he definitely knew better than to ask me if I was having fun, if I was doing what I wanted to do.

I didn't have a plan. I had no idea what the story would be. I just stepped through the door with Sara and Kelsey into the forbidden room, and the story revealed itself to me as we went.

I almost ran out of time. Just a few hours before the deadline I finished my draft. I barely had time to spell check. Forget a spit shine polish and readers. I hit Send.  

"Take that, Universe!" I said.

Imagine my surprise when I learned my story was accepted for the anthology!  Sometimes you have to take a chance.

The Beautiful Annapolis Basin and Its Shores
where the story takes place
Nova Scotia, Canada
Photo by my nephew Gavin Mundry
© All Rights Reserved

Who can resist a dare to enter a forbidden room? Sara and her brother Kelsey find themselves in dire circumstances a long way from home after a rash "Dare" and "Double Dare."


"Dare Double Dare" by Louise MacBeath Barbour

“I dare you!”
Sara barely considered her brother Kelsey’s challenge. “I double dare you!” she shot back.
Their father’s car had just turned out of the driveway onto the paved road.
“This is our chance. Unless you’re scared.”
“Not!” Sara stared down her brother from across the round maple table. But he crossed his eyes, and she broke eye contact, laughing. “Not fair. You always win like that.”
“If you focused you might win. Shall we do this—finally?”
Sara looked out her great-grandmother’s front windows at the pouring rain and dark clouds. The only colorful things visible in the soft light were the antique blue, green, and brown bottles standing on sills below the windows. Outside, wind lashed the trees, and rain drummed on the windows, running down the glass.
Their parents and great-grandmother had just left for Halifax and wouldn’t be back until the evening. Now that she was eleven and Kelsey twelve, their parents felt comfortable leaving them alone for the day—with stern warnings to behave, of course. Besides, they had plenty of relatives living nearby in the Cove.
“We haven’t anything better to do,” she said.
“Then let’s go!”
He pounded up the steep stairs to the landing and wide hallway. Sara ran up after him before she lost her nerve. Kelsey pushed aside a table and lamp, and they both dragged out a trunk blocking a door.
“Better take that flashlight,” Sara said.
Kelsey grabbed it from beside the lamp and stuck it behind his waistband.
Sara had no idea what to expect behind the forbidden door. If you didn’t know it was there, you might miss it...

Born in Nova Scotia and raised throughout eastern Canada, Louise is a writer and blogger who lives with her supportive husband in Colorado. She writes fiction and nonfiction. Her love of reading, photography, geology, and travel rounds out her enthusiastic embrace of life.

Coming on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 . . .

Next up is Charles Kowalski who shares his backstory for "Simon Grey and the Yamamba." In this adventurous tale set in feudal Japan, Simon and his mysterious friend Oyuki try to escape a monster on a mountain.

* * * * * * * * * *

The release date for VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost 
is May 5, 2020,
but purchase links are available,
and you can preorder a copy now.

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99
Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure / Fantasy & Magic
Dancing Lemur Press/Freedom Fox Press

Amazon - Print

Barnes & Noble -

ITunes -

Kobo -


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And we are very glad you did! Even if it took a sore tailbone to prompt you to write it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That lightning was telling you something. It's a good thing you listened.

Beth Schuck said...

The hooked rug is amazing! I can't wait to read it. Story inspiration comes from the oddest things, doesn't it?

Katharina Gerlach said...

I know a house like that. Those hidden doors are fascinating. Looking forward to reading the full story.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! Don't ask me how the heck I figured this out, but I can now comment! Fingers crossed! I had just given up and called Apple for help, and low and behold, I had already solved it. LOL Anyway, thank you! I'm glad I did take a chance. It was well worth a sore tailbone.

Fundy Blue said...

I definitely couldn't ignore a message like that, and there was no doubt in my mind about what it meant. All the best to you, Diane!

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks, Beth! My great grandmother was an amazing hooker. The Smith's Cove museum has several of her rugs, and I was fortunate to be able to photograph this one. I don't have the patience to hook rugs, but my three sisters are becoming amazing hookers. Maybe one day. Inspiration does come from the oddest things. Have a good one!

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks, Katharina! One of the fun things about putting together the IWSG Anthology posts is getting to see all the excerpts ~ The anthology is going to be awesome! Have a great rest of the day!

Roland Clarke said...

A stroke of painful inspiration goes a long way - all the way back to 1600s Canada. Can't wait to read more, Louise - especially as that's a period that has fascinated me ever since I went to college in Quebec. Well done.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I’m looking forward to reading this one! I’ve been eying Nova Scotia from our recent jaunts in Maine, and wanting to get there. Maybe I’ll have to settle for doing it via your magic door!

Juneta key said...

What a beautiful heirloom a hooked rug of great-grandmothers house made by her hand. That is so awesome and special.

Sherry Ellis said...

Nothing like the Universe knocking you down to get you moving! I'm glad you wrote the story. It sounds awesome!

Fundy Blue said...

You went to college in Quebec, Roland! Wow! Thanks for your encouraging comment!

Fundy Blue said...

I hope that you can get to Nova Scotia for real, Rebecca! It is a special place. Regardless, I hope that you enjoy my story.

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks, Juneta! Great Grammie was an amazing artist. There have been a number of wonderful hookers in our family. My Aunt Mary Lou's work is breathtaking. I wish I had the patience to hook rugs, like my three talented sisters. All the best to you!

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks, Sherry! I'm so thankful for that bolt from the black! Look what I would have missed if I had ignored it! Have a good one!

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Love hearing the story behind the story!

Bish Denham said...

Wow, wow, wow! What a story about writing a story! I'm so very excited for all of us. Can't wait to get a copy and read it cover to cover.

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks, Yvonne! I'm enjoying all the backstories!

Fundy Blue said...

I know what you mean, Bish! I can't wait either! Thanks for your kind words about my backstory. Have a good one!

Pat Hatt said...

That sure is true indeed. Have to take a chance, even if lightning bolts have to nudge you through that door with a sore tailbone lol

Fundy Blue said...

You always make me smile, Pat! Thanks for your kind words!

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