Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spinning tales on the wheel of fiction

If you've followed my blog you'll know I love to read and write. So I was delighted to be offered a free ecopy of Authorpreneur in Pajamas, by Geraldine Solon, for review. Not that I sit at my computer in pajamas. Getting dressed, like cleaning teeth, is an essential part of waking up for me, coming second, and third, only to drinking coffee. But, as an aspiring author, I'd love to be successful, so learning how to be an authorpreneur--in jeans and nice warm sweater--sounds great to me. So here's my review:

Authorpreneur in Pajamas, by Geraldine Solon blends friendly advice,useful lists of links, personal experience, and shared dreams to make a short, eminently readable, and pleasingly encouraging book for anyone like me. Enjoy with some bright easy-drinking 2-star coffee, and start using it.

The rest of today's reviews come from curious worlds and the spinning of curious tales, starting with, appropriately, The Tale Spinner, by David Donaghe, a cool genre, time and space spanning novel of a man who truly does get lost in what he reads. From Western desert to interstellar shift, with well-captured voices, noir-ish style, and the odd bedroom romp as well, it's fun, fast, furious, and elegantly plotted. Enjoy with a an elegant complex 4-star coffee.

The Exile’s Violin, by R. S. Hunter, is an intriguing steampunk tale with mystery, politics and warfare complicating the life of an orphaned young woman. Jacquie is a sort of low-born Princess Leia with the fighting skills to get out of most situations, and even a high-born side-kick to contrast with Han Solo. The story's fun, a little heavy at times, but with great dialog and humor. Enjoy with a dark intense 5-star coffee.

Joel D. Babbitt's The Trials of Caste takes readers to another strange new world, this one peopled by kobolds, and the author does a nice job of rendering the point of view of creatures other than man. There's a lot of backstory, but when the reader gets to the actual trials, where teens pit their skills in battle against each other (think Ender, or Harry Potter's Goblet of Fire etc) it becomes really hard to put this book down. Add some politics, the odd touch of betrayal, and a hint of magic... it should be an interesting series. Enjoy with several cups of elegant, complex 4-star coffee.

Clan Lord, by the same author, is set in a different world, with different creatures playing the starring role. In a nice twist, humanity are the outsiders, and the reader is led beautifully into the mind of a youngster on the edge of his society. Tree-dwelling never made such sense! Great timing, nicely compact snippets of backstory, wonderful characters, and a great sense of slowly learning what's going on, all make this a really enjoyable short story. I look forward to more. Enjoy its rich world-building with some 4-star rich elegant coffee.

Finally, returning to our own planet and the present day, with very real history, plenty of romance, a touch of mystery, and a touch of the paranormal, Déjà vu, by D. J. Starling invites readers into the lives of a young woman, deeply in love, but deeply suspicious of love. Is it chance or something more that brings her and her perfect soul-mate together? And how will history draw them back when it all falls apart. Second world war scenes have plenty of excitement and romance, and regression holds the key. Enjoy this lively tale with a lively 2-star cup of coffee.

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