Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Knight to Remember by Shelley Cooper

From the February 22, 2016 issue

Tagline: When Olivia was nearly overwhelmed by her friend's three kids, Sir Galahad came to the rescue!

Observations: Another story with a surprise that I didn't see coming, and I'm loving it. In this case, what surprised me was that the hero was her neighbor. It occurs to me that this could easily have not been a surprise. If Cooper had dropped in the info earlier that she had a cute neighbor in the building, we would have had him in the back of our minds and been looking for his reappearance in the story. By not foreshadowing, it comes as a nice surprise.

Also, this story is a great example of character development, such as it is in an 800 word story. Olivia has an opinion of moms with unruly children and comes to realize the job isn't as easy as it looks. By the end of the story we have watched her change her tune, even to the point where she's a little jealous of her friend. That paragraph where she comes to that realization was terrific. It painted a picture and it tugged at our heartstrings at the same time. A paragraph that multi-tasked.

After changing Kyra's diaper in the stroller, I snuggled her close and watched while Jeff pushed the boys on the swings. Maybe it was the happy grin on his face,; maybe it was the pure joy in Asa's and Aaron's laughter; or maybe it was Kyra's heavenly, baby softness; but for the first time ever, I found myself wanting to trade places with Stacey.

There was no black moment, but this story didn't necessarily need it.

Photo credit: Ted Johnson 


Pat said...

I loved this story! I married that guy years and years ago so the hero really appealed to me. Great job, Shelley.

Kate, this is one of those stories I wish I had thought to write.

Mary Jo said...

Great story. I am sure there are thousands of readers out there who can relate to a baby in the grocery cart and two little ones trailing behind.

Sandy Smith said...

Definitely all the right elements in this story and the neighbor twist with us not knowing at first that he is the neighbor. It also ended with their wedding coming up, which is another element a lot of WW stories have had lately.

Jacqueline Seewald said...


I love the way you analyze the story! Helpful to other writers.

Kate Willoughby said...

Thank you, Jacqueline! :)