Showing posts from April, 2012

13,000 words, and the streets are full of Ellens

Love on a Transfer, Part II, has grown to 13,000 words. Poor Tom's beginning to wonder if every woman in England looks like Ellen, but perhaps it's just the way his feelings for her affect him. Girls and women in pink micro-skirts, skin-tight jeans, long overcoats or even thick jackets over saris, they all remind him of the angel of his dreams. Meanwhile he needs to find an internet cafe so he can catch up on email. Did he but know it, a whole new set of dreams is waiting there. Meanwhile, many books are waiting to be read and reviewed, so here are just a few, with coffee recommendations and links to my reviews on Gather.... plus a bonus link to a book that's free on kindle today-- 'The House of Women' by Anne Brear, at a novel of the Victorian age where a young woman sacrifices her own happiness while fighting for her sister's rights, then finds surprising promise of new hope. So, book reviews..

6,000 words and reading too

I added another 3,000 words to Love on a Transfer yesterday. It's definitely growing. Tom's just met a girl dressed in pink, but she's really not impressed with him. Meanwhile I should be grabbing the occasional moment of sunshine to pull weeds (I did at least cut the grass), and using periods of rain to get on with housework. Or perhaps I should be reading... One great virtual place to read is the World Literary Cafe . It's well supplied with books, book reviews, special offers, publicity options, writing advice, and even a place to sign up as a book reviewer. I try to review a couple of books a month with them, and my kindle's bulging at the seams with free books waiting for that "round tuit" to give me time to read them. So here are my April WLC reviews... Emily's House, by Natalie Wright , is the first in the author's middle-grade/young adult Akasha Chronicles series. Fourteen-year-old protagonists break rules and fly from the States to Ire

3,000 new words and counting...

I've tried stitching short stories together to make a novel. I've tried starting from the beginning and keeping going til I reach the end. I've tried writing character sketches and listing the high points of the plot. This time I'm trying a mixture of them all. The one thing all my attempts at novels have in common is I can't write anything more than the first few chapters till I've spent time chatting with the characters. The trouble is, my characters seem to share my memory traits, fixating on details that might not be important, forgetting stuff that will tie their version of events into somebody else's, and even, sometimes, shock horror, making things up. But we walk around the green together. I mutter to the blossom falling from the trees (and wish I still had a dog--so much more responsive to mutter to). Then slowly I realize, okay, this is how it came about and I settle down to write. Tom still hasn't met Anne. He still thinks that photo on the

The Joy of Dragons

Being English, I have to have a soft spot for dragons, although, with St. George on our side, I suspect we'd be more likely to fight than to settle down and converse on the meaning of magic. What's the difference between being good at using magic, and being good at letting magic use you? Which shows more power, getting your own way, or being ready to wait for a better way? And what do you do when you want to be something you're not? Today I'm joining in Jackie Gamber's blog tour for her Leland Dragon series. The second book, Sela, has just come out with Seventh Star Press. Redheart (book 1) was good, but Sela's even better, a smoother, steadier ride with convincing characters, teens who feel rejected, bad guys who feels empowered, dragons and people who think they know better than the stories the magic might tell, and mystery. The mystery's still unfolding by the end of the tale, but like all the best series writers, Jackie Gamber succeeds in creati

Paper reading, computer writing, and WOW!

Wow! Willow Moon Publishing just offered me a contract for my first romance novel, Love on a Transfer . I don't know yet if I'll manage to add enough scenes for a print release, but they've said yes to the ebook and I'm definitely going to try. This is me, dancing around the room... thinking with awe that this is only possible because the publisher read one of my book reviews and invited me to submit something... deciding perhaps I should post some more book reviews----these novels best enjoyed with good cups of coffee of course. (I hope you like the new coffee cup logo above!) Just for a change, these books were all read on paper. But my writing's all done on computer. And once I've posted these I'll write some more. This week's books start with Steve O'Brien's Redemption Day , and today, April 19th, is a perfect day to start posting reviews on this book. After all, it's the day when... well... lots of stuff happened in the US, and

Religion, History and Science

I reviewed Caron Rider's The Silver Knight a little while ago and was delighted to be asked to host her on her Silver Knight blog tour with Lightning Book Promotions. When I read the title to Caron's guest post I was even more delighted. Religion, History and Science: My Favorite Topics she says. So she and I definitely have something in common. I'm delighted to "virtually" meet you here Caron, and I really enjoyed reading your post. I enjoyed Silver Knight too, with its intriguing blend of history and the modern-day paranormal. So, over to you... Religion, History, and Science: My Favorite Topics Religion is a touchy subject for people to discuss. Most take it very seriously and claim that what is written in the Bible is fact. Period. While others want proof. Since I'm a history buff and have taught high school history, I feel that I have a better than average grasp of the frailties of what we think we know. For instance, history is re-written

Reading, watching soccer, and carrying on a conversation

My family think I spent too much time reading last weekend. But they were watching football (soccer) and I was enjoying myself. Not that I don't like soccer too, but reading on my kindle when soccer's on TV reminds me of those long-gone days of youth, back when I could do two, three, four things at once without thinking it odd. Reading, watching soccer, and trying to carry on an intelligible conversation... I'm not sure I can still do that but I tried every once in a while, when there was a dubious referee decision, when the ball flew just outside the goal... I'll leave it to the guys to decide how well I succeeded. Meanwhile, here are the books I read, and the words just flew by, straight into goal, assisted by good coffee. It was a fine weekend. Brigitta of the White Forest by Danika Dinsmore is the first of her faerie tales of the white forest novels and it's a great introduction to a beautifully imagined world for middle grade readers. If the guys can get pas

Justice, forgiveness and the Ninth Step

I'm privileged to welcome Barbara Taylor Sissel to my blog today. I read and reviewed her first novel, the Ninth Step , last week and really loved it--the sort of story that creates real characters with real courage and pains, then lets them respond to their own situations without ever lecturing the reader about right choices. Barbara has written several novels, as you'll see below, and having read one, I'm eager to read them all. But perhaps I should let her tell you about them herself... Over to you Barbara, and thank you for visiting my blog. Initially, when Sheila offered to host a guest post from me, I thought I would write entirely about The Ninth Step, the first novel I indie published last August. I thought I would tell how I was led to write the story … that it had to do with courage. I gravitate toward stories of real-life courage, where real people stand up in the aftermath of terrible tragedy. They not only stand, they triumph. They even forgive—or not.

Free books, but please will somebody offer free time

So many books and so little time to read them all... I'm not sure when I'll find time for them, but I'm loading my kindle with more wondrous words today, hopping over to World Literary Cafe to browse their shelves of kindle books free today, then off to find a free kindle copy of Redemption Day (which I'll soon be reviewing). For anyone wondering, Redemption Day is free from now till April 19 for a very special reason. April 19th might not be well-known like 9/11 or 12/7, but it's an important day in America's recent history of violence... ...the day in 1985 when 399 federal officers surrounded Jim Ellison's compound in Northern Arkansas, later convicting Ellison on conspiracy and weapons charges ... the day in 1993 when the FBI stormed the Branch Davidian complex outside Waco Texas, seeking their leader on illegal weapons charges ... the day in 1994 when Linda Thomspon called for armed citizens to assemble in Washington DC ... and the day i

Exploring the responsibilities of a YA writer

Yesterday I reviewed L.M. Preston's Explorer X - Beta , part of a fascinating YA series of books set in the future where teens sent to space camp end up questioning their own identity and the motives of everyone around them. Today, thanks to Lightning Book Promotions , I'm honored to have L.M. Preston as a guest on my blog, discussing the responsibilities of writing for young adults. Publishers, parents, librarians, teachers, and of course young adult readers themselves all have ideas of what can and can't be included in a young adult book. L.M. Preston explains what ideas fueled the decisions made in writing this exciting series where teens are thrust into sci-fi action and adventure but remain real people with real feelings, fears and responsibilities. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A YA WRITER The issue at hand is that YA authors fall into two different camps in reference to what impact their writing has on teens. Issues like bulimia, cutting, sex, and suicidal te

I did it!

I did it! I finished my Infinite Sum and it didn't take infinitely long to write and edit it after all. But, of course, I already knew the characters. The protagonist, Sylvia, is the Guardian Angel Cat Girl from Divide by Zero , due to be released in July from Stonegarden. And Infinite Sum is her place to discover her story.    Why did she let it happen?    How did she not know who did it?    Why didn't she say something? Well, you'll have to read Infinite Sum to find out, and I guess it would have to get published first. So I've collected synopsis, query letter and chapter together into a file and emailed them off. I did it! At last! I'm imagining an artist near that bench on the cover for Divide by Zero. She's trying to paint the pictures of her life, trying to remember what happened and why, and how it came to this... Meanwhile, of course, I've been reading, and it's time to reward myself with a nice cup of coffee. Enjoy these books w

A story to tell, by the author of Growing Pains

I've just read Growing Pains: Kendra's Diaries by K.P. Smith and I'm honored to have the author on my blog today offering some background to why she's writing this series for young teens. I'll post my review of the novel tomorrow, but for now, here's some information about the book and the author: About Growing Pains:   Kendra Foster is just an ordinary girl trying to get through her growing pains . Join her for her eight grade year and the struggles she goes through such as her parents fighting, cheer leading tryouts, friendship ups and downs, first crushes, etc. Growing pains is a fun look at life and its ups and downs, its bumps and its bruises. But with perseverance, determination, and faith you can be all you were born to be.The authors goal is to inspire young adults to never give up and to not be afraid of being yourself.   About the author:   K.P. Smith has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Xavie