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Showing posts from April, 2011

Collecting relationships, and meeting Collectibles author James J. Kaufman

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I'm delighted to welcome author James J. Kaufman to my blog today. I reviewed his book,The Collectibles, earlier this week--a fascinating read that switches from Adirondack mountain beauty to big-city law and mingles characters as real and different as the worlds they inhabit. 

And... I'm delighted to add that The Collectibles is Nautilus Silver Book Award winner !!! Congratulations !!!
An attorney, businessman and former judge, James J. Kaufman has published several works of non-fiction. Kaufman lives in Wilmington, North Carolina with his wife, Patty. The Collectibles is his debut novel and he is currently working on writing his second novel.

I suspect that second novel will be well worth looking out for. Over to you Mr. Kaufman, and thank you for visiting my blog.


Readers often ask how I came up with the idea of “Collectibles” as people. For years I have watched people collect and proudly display all kinds of things (watches, clocks, figurines, furniture, cars, dolls, stamps,…

Wish me Luck !

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Please wish me luck. I'm going to our Spring Bazaar tomorrow, bearing books and bookmarks, home-made cards with pictures drawn with Microsoft's new Draw, and hoping, so much hoping, I might sell some. So... please wish me luck.

Meanwhile I'll tell the computer to post a really neat blog post tomorrow morning from author James J. Kaufman (before I go). If you're not visiting the Spring Bazaar buying all your delightfully collectible Mothers Day gifts, you might want to drop by here and learn about collectible relationships. James Kaufman's novel, The Collectibles, is a nicely plotted story with intriguing characters and enduring wisdom, and his views on how we connect with the people around us make for a really interesting post.

Click on the link for my review of James Kaufman's novel, The Collectibles.

And come back tomorrow to learn the reasoning behind it.

More reading, more coffee, more books

Two books that featured sailing, four mysteries, three adventures, one legal, one mostly illegal, two short stories... but only six books. It's kind of fun reading books that have something in common and this has been a fun week:

First is a complex elegant mystery, Black Swan by Chris Knopf. Fifth in his Sam Acquillo Hamptons series, it takes place on a New York island where Sam, Amanda, and Sam's wonderful dog are stranded waiting for repairs on the sailboat they're delivering for a friend. Investigation of mysterious death and possible computer crimes parallel Sam's internal investigation of his own past and future. Beautifully evocative and intriguing, with a host of complex characters and fascinating puzzles, it's well worth the 4star coffee I'd recommend drinking with it.

Next is another sailing mystery, this time set in the Caribbean. Caribbean Punch by W.F. Carli is a easy-reading, relaxed tale of high adventure on the high seas, with gorgeous twins, marti…

One of my poems on a Poem for Easter page!

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Kimberly Blackader has included one of my poems on her Poetry for Easter page.
I've put another Easter poem on my Drabble page.
And here's a poem I wrote earlier this week, to go with this picture of the cross from church--a cross that changes from gray and lifeless at the start of the service to a symbol of beauty and hope.

This day you will be with me, the Savior said To the stranger at his side Together they died. In Paradise the angels sang for joy And we wondered why.
I’m guilty said the thief, you’re innocent. This day you will be with me In Paradise. The day I die I hope the angels sing With joy for me.
The ones who had betrayed him fled and cried The one to kill himself. This day you will Be forgiven the Savior said, the other survived To Paradise.
So I who have betrayed him, I who live While savior dies for me I will survive This day I will be with him in Paradise The day I die.
So I who weep tonight, deserving ill Am rescued still by him Who died for me. So I and all who see him can be saved T…

An Interview with authors Roy C Booth and Brian R Woods

I reviewed Davi by Roy C Booth and Brian Woods on my blog yesterday (and on gather, where there’s a longer review, and today I’m posting an interview with the authors… Yes, I know; that’s branching out for me, actually interviewing someone I don’t know. But we had an author speaking at our writing group last weekend who mentioned he enjoyed working with his co-author, so I thought I just might have some questions to ask…

First, to introduce the authors… Roy is a published author, comedian, poet, journalist, essayist, playwright, and screenwriter/doctor (w/. screenplays optioned). Internationally award winning playwright wtih 53 plays published (Samuel French, Heuer, et al) with 690+ productions worldwide in 27 countries. Latest books in print: THREE ZOMBIES AND A DEMON (Stygian Press) and NORTHERN LIGHTS: 20 MinnSpec Tales (Sam's Dot). Five more books set to be released in 2011. (see below for more info on appearances and projects)

Brian is a two-time published poet. He works as a d…

Reading, reading and more reading.

We had a challenge at our writers' group to write two-line book reviews. It was kind of fun. So maybe I'll try to restrict my blogger reviews to around two lines, but you can still click on the blue links to find the full-length reviews on gather.

We've got a new challenge to write two-line descriptions of what we're writing. Now that should be fun...

Anyway, here's what I've been reading this last week:

Before you Launch, by Ruchira Agrawal: A useful little book for learning about yourself and your passions, and discovering whether you've got what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Tales of Suruale: Davi, by Roy C. Booth and Brian R. Woods is a neat short fantasy with nicely drawn human and dwarvish characters in a world where prejudice and betrayal are as common as today, and love just as strong.

Terrorist Queen, by Gary Sutton: I reviewed Oskaloosa Moon for the author a little while ago (a wonderful book), and he kindly sent me a copy of Terrorist Queen when h…

You're invited to a "live chat" with me

My voice may still sound more like a frog's, but at least I can type. The question is, can I type fast enough and consistently enough, with few enough typos and errors, to cope with an on-line chat? I guess we'll find out tonight. I'm one of two guests (the other is Dianna Doles-Petry, author and poet) on the Live Chat on Gather tonight. Follow the link to see how it goes and if you're a member of Gather you can even leave questions for me, or leave them here.

Live chat starts at 9pm ET, 8pm CT, 7pm MT and 6pm PT. Hope to see you there!

Reading while curled up in a blanket

I wish this Texas cold would go away, but at least it gives me time to read (when I'm not trying to sleep it off). Here's this weeks books, with links to reviews on gather as usual:

Historical novel: Freedom's Sword by J.R. Tomlin: It's odd how word-choice can influence reading, and the choice to use ancient or modern words in a historical novel must be a difficult one. I sometimes found the mix distracting in this novel, but that probably says more about me than anything else. The story of Andrew de Moray escaping an English jail and raising rebellion among the Scots was particularly interesting to me since my family visited Avoch when I was a kid. The love interest didn't inspire me as much as the battles, but I did enjoy the book. One to read with a 3-star balanced, full, smooth-flavored coffee

Paranormal police procedural: A Game of Blood, by Julie Ann Dawson: This one successfully combines the genres in a really intriguing tale. Cop chases very suave, very dar…

Falling in love with my Kindle

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We flew to Texas for 10 days. I took one small suitcase--small enough to count as carryon--plus my computer... plus my kindle. Knowing Kindles are electronic and therefor can't be used around takeoff and landing, I took three real, paper-backed books (and read them). But all the rest of my reading supplies were on Kindle, and they really didn't take up very much space--hence one small case.

So, Pros and Cons of kindle vs paper, as deduced on a 10-day trip to Texas:

Yup. I still love the feel of real print books, but I'm falling in love with my Kindle.

Heaven Sent: Where do our heaven sent words go?

I'm delighted to welcome British author Xavier Leret to my blog today. He has a fascinating tale to tell of how his novel Heaven Sent came about. I read the novel last week and found myself transported to the dark side of Bristol, England, seeing the world through the eyes of an amazing teenager. Read on to see what Xavier has to say about writing it. Then go out and read the book!

You can find my review of Heaven Sent here on Gather.com

Over to you Xavier...


When I began Heaven Sent, it was a eureka moment, not in the sense that I had cracked something profound like light speed or the secrets to eternal life, I just knew that I had started my first novel. I hadn't set out to start it. It wasn't like when I wrote plays. I would announce that my theatre company was going to tour a play and it would be about this or that, and then I would write it. Heaven Sent didn't begin like that. I just wrote a thousand words. That thousand words were about sixteen year old Carlo, excep…

Reading in the Texas Sun

I didn't get on the computer much last week, but I did read quite a few books--paper books while I waited for the plane to reach 10,000 feet, and kindle books while they trundled coffee and sodas down the aisles. They trundled a choice of snacks as well--Southwest is good that way. Unfortunately even the nuts had wheat in them, so I feasted myself on words instead of solid food. It was a very nice feast, and better for the waistline, which was most deliciously fed at other times on barbeques, seafood and Texmex.

Anyway, here's a list of books and links (as always) to reviews on gather or summit or wherever...

Literary delights: These ones get 4-star coffee ratings to go with the very best, rich, elegant, smooth drinks.

Expiration Date by Sherril Jaffe: Published this month by the Permanent Press, Expiration Date follows Flora as she waits for the Angel of Death to visit her. Meanwhile her 80-year-old mother Muriel escapes the angel's visits and seems more alive than ever, whi…

Texas Sun

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From heights











to depths











to river in-between,












Bright colors











bright sunshine











dry and green,











Did you miss me?











This Texas











is where I've been.