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Showing posts from January, 2012

Imaginary travels

Okay, I guess it's time to post those book reviews, before continuing my last week of real-life travels with Mum. As always, enjoy coffee while reading, and follow the links for my gather reviews.

I'll start with Joshua Muggleton's Raising Martians, a very approachable, easily-read description of the life and interests of a Martian I know rather well, since he's my nephew. Joshua does a great job of humanizing an Aspergers syndrome diagnosis, putting face and character to the child who gets bullied in school, and helping adults see the thought processes behind what might seem to be stubborn rebellion. A great book if you have any contact with children with Aspergers or high-functioning Autism, or just kids who don't seem to fit in. Enjoy a 3-star well-balanced coffee as this book balances humor, honesty and serious study of an illness that affects so many.

Next is A Roman Peace in Briton by Joe Tackett, first in a series of novels of Britons and Romans. The author …

Just visiting...

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I'm visiting Lee-Ann Graff Vinson's Wiring Commando blog today, where she shares the joy of winter snow, children, dog, and family-time. Lee-Ann has interviewed me and I really enjoyed answering her questions. I'd love to answer yours too if you follow this link to meet me. See you there!



Lee-Ann Graff Vinson is the author of Georgia's Smile (a woman afraid to leave her husband), Love's Trust (a young woman reporter in Iraq, saved by man who was meant to die), Callie's Fate (unhappy circumstances bringing a woman and the Marine of her dreams together with hopes of more), and Love and Liberty (Captain Dana Jenkins, taken prisoner, while holding another captain's heart). Stories of love and war, freedom and hope, from Gypsy Shadow Publishing.

Travels: real, virtual and imaginary

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Does time speed up or expand in the waning days of a wonderful vacation? My Mum's been staying with us since early December but leaves next week. So now the days are flying by, but what days! It feels like we've hardly stood still (or sat still) this week (except in a car). Time speeds and we race across the miles, packing a years' worth of visits into two final weeks. Luckily, time seems to carry a suitably expandable suitcase. Anyway, here's a brief record of our travels, with apologies to all the friends we've not visited, emails we've not answered, invitations still languishing in inboxes, facebook comments unread, phone-calls unreturned, etc...

Real visits:  to a wonderful friend with two wonderful cats.
to Tillamook (with another wonderful friend) to enjoy the scenery and Mum's yearly taste of the world's best ice-cream




with another friend (we are blessed with such good friends) to Annie Bloom's bookstore where we  admired another cat and bought…

Breaking things

Maybe it's sunspots. Maybe it's just me.

Yesterday I watched a DVD with my Mum. We hoped to watch the whole series before she goes back to England, but the DVD player broke. I'm lucky though; at least I got the disc out first.

Today a friend took me and my Mum for a drive. I brought my GPS along to help us not get lost. "Turn right," said the kind electronic voice, then fell silent while the screen went black. I'm lucky though; my wise friend found her way.

This evening I plugged my kindle into the computer. "Drive E needs reformatting before use," said the nice little window that appeared. I'm lucky though; I pressed cancel instead of ok.

Realizing that "things" tend to break in threes, does the fact that my kindle's still working mean something else is yet to break? Do I dare use my cell-phone, the washing machine, the car?

Or maybe it's just sunspots, or the rain.

Card Sharp

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As part of Lightning Book Promotions blog tour for CardSharp, I'm posting information about Paul Oliver Westmoreland's first Vincent Ward novel, and offering a link to his very appropriately-named website, http://www.powbooks.com.
The author's initials POW provide a perfect backdrop to his writing, and CardSharp is an enjoyable children's novel that offers excitement and information in equal portions, nicely packaged in a thoroughly engaging tale. So

visit his site at POW Books


follow the Read now link to download sample chapters


or go here to read my review of CardSharp on gather.com


... a nice blend of art, history, information and modern-day action, enjoyably English with a pleasing international flavor, attractively produced and well-designed to encourage young readers to read, think and have fun.


For more stops on this tour, visit

22nd Megan @ The Book Addicted Girl 23rd Shelia @ Sheila Deeth 24th Crystal @ Inspire 24th Connie @ Character Connection 25th Heather @…

Momentous moment of trivial organization

"What book are we reading next month?" asked a friend at our local book group.
It took me a moment to wrangle my phone out of my pocket. Then I mis-typed the password, again. But two screens later I was clicking on "calendar." Scroll to February, click on Thursdays ('cause that's when we meet) and there it was.
I actually used my phone to answer a question, so I guess my phone really is getting me organized after all.
Of course, there's still a long way to go, but that "task list" on it says I need to post some more book reviews, so here they are. Plus coffee. Always coffee. And no ratings because I really don't like rating books.

The book we talked about last night was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. The science of cell-lines fascinated me, and the ethics of health care and poverty gained a very human face in Henrietta Lacks' family. It took a few chapters before I was hooked, but I really enjoyed the book. Dr…

virtual reading while real-world organizing

Is it true that things have to get worse before they get better. I'm trying to get organized... Meanwhile I'm trying to find time to read and write. Meanwhile my to-read-and-review pile grows taller--as does my virtual read-and-review pile, though I did, at last, remove already reviewed books from my rapidly overflowing kindle, which leaves a little more space for more books, but not a lot.

Anyway, here are four books removed from the kindle after an enjoyable week of reading and organizing (and hey, I did write 8,500 words of Infinite Sum, the sequel to this summer's upcoming Divide by Zero).

Starting with science fiction (where else) the Apocalypse Gene, by Suki Michelle and Carlyle Clark is an exciting young-adult dystopian novel filled with believable technology, fascinating multi-cultural mythological references, and an intriguing blend of folklore, sci-fi and romance. Enjoy with a bold, dark 5-star cup of coffee.

Still in a word of sci-fi mysteries, Mike Arsuaga'…

Starting the New Year organized?

Me organized? It doesn't sound terribly likely I know. But our oldest son has finally dragged me into the 21st century with the aid of a smart-phone. I've linked it to a shiny new gmail account, resulting in emails, a totally chaotic address book full of random disconnected contacts, and a calendar, all easily (?) accessible from that sliver of plastic in my back pocket.

I kept thinking I ought to get organized and answer some of the those facebook, linkedin, gather, squidoo and twitter emails piling up in my old (non-gmail) inbox. But instead I'm getting organized making facebook, linkedin, gather etc send their mails to a nice new address... Then I get distracted... Then I look for wallpaper and ringtones and try out the GPS... And then...

Well, and then I make dinner. But in case you were wondering why I've not posted your book reviews or replied to your emails yet, please blame organization. Who knows, this time next week I might finally learn what year it is.

Flower Child nominated in Preditors and Editors !!!

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I was heading over to http://critters.org/predpoll/shortstorysf.shtml to vote for a story I'd read and I saw my own name! Really! Flower Child's been nominated under
Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story published in 2011... Runs round the room in amazement--one of my stories, nominated!!!

Runs round the room again!!!

Runs out of exclamation points...

Anyway, if you liked Flower Child, please vote for me--just follow the link, click the button by Flower Child, add your name and email and copy the magic code (for verification) lower down the page, then click on the link in your email when you receive it.

I think I'll just go run round the room again...

Happy New Year

New year already? Really?

We played some board games yesterday and realized I still hadn't put them away since Christmas 2010! Procrastination rules. But tidying them up means hiding away reminders of the kids. I like to keep them around, board games and kids. Since the "kids" are all grown, I guess I'll probably keep those board-game boxes piled under a table till Christmas 2012.

Highly recommended--Settlers, Dominion, Railroad Tychoon and El Grande...

Meanwhile, Happy New Year!And here's a few children's book's I've been reading to usher in new hopes and new inspirations... (and coffee of course).

Cardsharp, by Paul Oliver Westmoreland, is the first in a series of adventures centering on art historian Vincent Ward. And yes, someone who studies art can have seriously exciting adventures. A wonderful way to introduce the modern teen to the wonders of serious art, this series promises to be great fun. It's a pleasing blend of history, authentic inf…