Showing posts from July, 2011

8,000 words and I know where the mother went!

I went to Borders with a friend last week and drank a final coffee in their coffee store. We used to go there to shop, read, write and share ideas (and drink coffee of course). Alas, no more. I dropped in on Saturday to see the "closing down sales" and found the great deals (Buy one get one half off) all replaced with boring 10% discounts and shelving chaos. And no coffee! They've stacked the tables and chairs in a corner so there's no place to drink your own brew either. Very sad. Anyway, last time we went we got out paper and pencils and wrote our entries for the local writers' group's competition. The prompt was something to do with expectation and reality not being the same. My story was about a boy, and when I read it to my friend she asked, "What about his mother and his sister?" Good question I guess. Coming home I typed the story up ready to send while questions meandered in my head. Soon I was typing chapter two, chapter three, and even

More books, and my Kindle's battery's running low

I wonder how long a Kindle battery last? Can you overuse it? At Christmas my shiny new Kindle would work for two weeks without recharging--a delight since I didn't have to worry about it running out in the middle of a trip, or the middle of a book. But last week it lasted from Monday to Saturday, and this week it needed recharging on Monday again. Help! I'll soon be plugging it in like my phone every night. Given how much power it takes to download books, I'd better be careful only to switch the WiFi on when it's plugged in. Still, even a couple of days is long enough to finish a few books. So this weekend's collection includes three "real" books and three on Kindle. Half-and-half I guess. As usual, click on the blue links for longer Gather reviews, and read the coffee recommendations as flavors, not ratings. (I still don't like ratings.) I'll start with a book I'd been seriously looking forward to reading, Lee Harmon's Revelation, th

Welcoming Emily Edwards, author of the Trouble with Being a Horse

I reviewed Emily Edwards' children's book, The Trouble with Being a Horse , yesterday, and today I'm delighted to welcome her to my blog. Her horse story is an enjoyable tale of a young girl learning that communication is definitely more than words, plus a fascinating insight into the world of horses--more than a story, and more than a moral tale, it's a children's novel with real character and real character development. So, over to Emily... Topic: character development When I first came up with the idea for “The Trouble with Being a Horse,” I had thought it would be a light-hearted, adventurous tale of a girl’s exciting exploits in a horse’s body. It wasn’t until I sat down to actually write it that the character of Olivia began to develop into a troubled girl with far deeper issues than winning horse shows and showing off to friends. As I began to plot out what would happen, I realized that the story wouldn’t work if it was just an adventure story full of

With Kindle, Book and Coffee Mug in Hand

Time for some more book reviews, with related coffee recommendations. Click on the blue links for full reviews on Gather, and fill your coffee cup with an appropriate drink. Just remember, the stars are for flavor, not ratings. Starting with two scary novels, both intriguingly shaded with hints of faith: The Keepers, by Monique O’Connor James , is set in post-Katrina New Orleans, where a young Catholic woman is seeking a new beginning after the death of her mother. Good and evil battle for her soul, guilt and forgiveness for her mind, and paranormal temptations loom. It's a fascinating tale, sometimes slow, sometimes intense, to be read with a 5-star bold dark brew of coffee in hand. Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum, by Stephen Prosapio is set in the outskirts of Chicago where a TV station is filming a ghost-hunting special with rival teams--Xavier Paranormal Investigators, led by a mysterious young man with curious powers and secrets in his past, and the somewhat less honest Demon


The proofs arrived from Lulu and they look good (though the yellows have an oddly greenish tinge on the print inside. Maybe I'll blame it on the light.) I guess I need to proof-read them all now-- kind of the point --so I apologize in advance for being slow to post and respond on the internet... Two Bible study guides--lots of references for me to check before I add them to my free downloads collection. Dribble-It--a year's-worth of 50-word stories and poems, with space for readers to dribble their own words too. Joshua's Journeys--a collection of 3-minute read-aloud stories based on events from Leviticus through Joshua in the Bible. And A Bible Book of Laws--a child's-eye view of the Ten Commandments with questions to send the adults searching through their Bibles.

This week's book reviews

The sun came out, the weeds grew tall, and yardwork called. But now it's raining again, so here's this week's book reviews. As usual, click on the blue links for full reviews on gather, and grab yourself a coffee while you read. (Recommended coffees refer to style, not ratings.) This week's books are quite a mix, starting with: Maria Juana's Gift, by T. Lloyd Winetsky : A novel that reads like a memoir, filled with contrasts and peopled by characters with real needs and real concerns. Jake and Tina meet at an ESL teachers' conference and move to the Mexican border to practice their skills. A doctor promises to care for their baby. And something goes wrong. Drink a 3-star balanced, full-flavored coffee while you ponder questions raised in this tale. Moving on to a very different part of the US: Kiss me Quick before I shoot, by Guy Magar : This one really is a memoir, written by a Hollywood producer and director, full of great pictures and fascinating det

Who is Origin?

I typed my name into Amazon to see what books would appear--just checking, I thought. But what I found wasn't quite what I expected... Genesis People at $137.63 Drabble-It $131.63 Storyteller Psalms $ 147.63 Exodus Tales $137.63 Thanksgiving! $143.63 Revelation! $143.63 Mongrel Christian Mathematician $131.63 What's with all the 63cents? And what's with those prices? Genesis People is the only one I expected to find from this list (it's also available for $9.99). The rest, I thought, were just on Lulu (at much smaller prices). I'm sure no-one's ever going to pay over $100 for one of my books, but who on earth is "Origin" and how can he/she/it even offer my books at those prices? And how do I get the original Genesis People to appear on my author page (with cover) instead of this vastly inflated cover-less one? Aghghgh!

The Phantom Beep

"It's outside," said my son yesterday, more right than he knew. It beeped on and off all through the day, and by evening the street was empty and we still didn't know what it was. We walked from room to room, checked the microwave, changed batteries in smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, electric clocks--even stared at the heating system for a while. But the beeping, not quite loud, not quite queiet, just carried on. We wondered at the inanity of making something beep when it's battery's low without giving a visual signal. Then we wondered if anyone had left a cell-phone lying around. Not a battery? Nobody knew. And this morning it was beeping again, sounding convincingly outside though we knew it had to be in. I checked the garage--well, I drove the car to the station and back, then happened to look at the wall. Our FIOS box had a nice red light  next to the green one. Was that there before? Shifting boxes (our garage is a little full) and squeezi

Wombles and Weebles

Does anyone out there remember the Wombles of Wimbledon Common? I kept seeing people with new "weeble" websites today and found the words wombling, wimbling, wombling free buzzing round in my head. Ah well. Weeble is free, and it's pretty easy too. So I made myself a weeble site, and now I'm pondering how to link it to my blog, or link my blog to it. Anyway, should you wish to visit, here's my weeble page: Would love to see you there.

Nice surprise in the mail

I went to the Permanent Press website for details of a book I was reviewing last week, and my eye was caught by the title of an upcoming release, All Cry Chaos . It's probably the mathematician in me; mention chaos in any kind of literary manner (as opposed to kids and families) and it quickly ignites that chaos theory spark. So I clicked on the cover and saw this Publishers Weekly quote: "Readers, especially the mathematically inclined, will relish this intellectually provocative whodunit." Wow! Definitely something I'd like to read... Fast forward to yesterday's  mail delivery where I found a parcel with some gorgeous stamps (see picture) from the Permanent Press. And there, inside, is a copy of All Cry Chaos , all for me! How cool is that? So now this mathematically inclined reader is struggling to keep her fingers from opening the book... must finish prior reviews... must finish prior reviews... must finish... must... Thank you Permanent Press!

Exciting News

Well, I'm pretty excited finding my books for sale in a different venue. I just got the email from Lulu to say that Storyteller Psalms and Genesis People are now on the iBookstore. So I wandered over there and found A Bible Book of Numbers and Revelation as well. Now, if I just had the right sort of device to read them I could see what they look like, but they certainly look good on the page. If anyone buys one, I'd love to know what you think!

Reading and Dependent

I remember when they said my oldest son was at last an "independent reader." I was so proud, and now he's grown up. I'm still proud of him of course--proud of them all--though he reads the sort of book I'd never understand and has no interest in fiction. Still, Independence Day, and independent reading got me wondering--if all my reading is done at the request of publishers, writers, publicists, etc, does that make me a "dependent reader"? So, I pondered, then I rebelled. I read lots of books for review last weekend, and added one "just for me." Then one turned into three, but it was an Ursula Le Guin series, so I have a good excuse. And that got me wondering, which writer would I most like to be. I wish I could write half as well as Ursula Le Guin! Anyway, here are my most recent reads, with links to book reviews on gather, and suggested coffee strengths. For more about coffee, see the left hand sidebar. They're not ratings (I hate ratin