Showing posts from June, 2013

Lawyers, Killers and Endangered Birds ?

I've just got back from a family reunion in England and found an advance copy of Darryl Nyznyk's The Condor Song waiting for me. After sharing the domain of our feathered friends and watching too many movies on the plane, a tale of condors, inspired by the Sierra Club vs Walt Disney, seems just the thing to inspire me. But can I inspire you to read it too ? More importantly, can I inspire you to buy a copy from Amazon on July 1st? Read on and see why... Author Darryl Nyznyk practiced law for 2 decades before becoming a full time writer, so I'm sure he'll bring a sense of legal authenticity to this tale. He was also raised in a Catholic family, giving him more than just a lawyer's sense of good and evil. And his earlier novel, Mary's Son, is a three-time Gold recipient of the Mom's Choice Awards! So I'm really looking forward to this read... but are you? Here's some more information from my friends at prbythebook Darryl Nyznyk, aut

History's mystery and book reviews

I used to say I'd never write historical fiction because it's too easy for someone to prove me wrong when they've really studied the subject. Perhaps that just means I'm too lazy to do the research, or else I'm too scared of my big brother who really does know way more than I ever will about history and politics. But then, if I write science fiction, won't I be subject to science advancing beyond my imagination? If I write of the present day won't someone else know better than I what's really going on? And if I write a book review, why should anyone value my opinion over another reviewer's? I guess I'll hide behind my character's knowledge, or lack thereof, when I write my stories. And my book reviews? Well, they're really just my personal response to the book's I've read. I hate to rate books because I don't feel qualified. But I'm always ready to grab another coffee and read some more. So here, for your reading and cof

Virtual Fairground for Real EBooks

Why I like ebooks... I can pack my kindle for a trip in the tiniest space in my bag and have a whole library at my fingertips. I can read five whole books on a plane flight from the US to England without doing my back in carrying them around. Why I don't like ebooks... That kindle gets pretty overloaded after a while and the pages turn as if they're glued with molasses. But help is at hand! Just reset it to "factory settings" and go to Amazon to download the books I really want for my trip. Then turning pages and changing books is a snap, just like new again! Of course, kindle batteries run down after a while and paper books never do. But I've got a solution to that one too--just carry a mini kobo in your pocket for emergencies. So now I've got two libraries--four if you count the one on my computer and the one on Amazon--and I've plenty to read. But there are still so many books out there... Please can somebody tell me how to download extra reading

Real world, sci-fi or fantasy?

One school essay question asked "Would you rather have a short exciting life or a long boring one?" I chose long and boring because I'd be able to enjoy so many short exciting ones through fiction over the years. One I've heard of more recently asks "Would you rather live in the real world, a sci-fi future, or a fantasy world?" I'm wondering which answer to give. After all, I've been eager enough to embrace computers and ebooks. Does that mean I really do hanker after living in a sci-fi future, or is enjoying futuristic discoveries just part of the excitement of today. I like elves and dwarves and their stories too... but no, I think I really will choose real world over both the others as well, and enjoy many different futures and fantasies in fiction. That said, Mary Roach's My Planet is set in a very real everyday world but filled with hilariously fascinating snippets as the author really does "find... humor in the oddest places."

Sampling Saturday again

The virtual ebook fair looks set to continue through summer and it's filled with great reads for your kindle, kobo, computer or whatever ereader you like to use. (Don't forget, if you haven't got an ereader you can always download one FREE to your machine and read ebooks the same way you read this blog!) I've got another Five Minute Bible Story at   for you to sample (and share with your children, grandchildren and more). Then if you head on over to you'll find lots more virtual book booths just through the gate. Enjoy! I'll hope to see you there!

Reading a Romantic Interlude

My first romantic novel, Love on a Transfer, should come out soon with Willow Moon Publishing. One chapter's set in Blackpool, near where my Mum lives, and the other day I saw pictures on the internet showing volunteers climbing up and down The Big One there to raise money for injured soldiers... Those views of the beach and tower certainly took me back. And the view from the top of the Big One reminded me of days when I was braver and younger and dared ride super-roller-coasters with my brother. But I must be getting old--these days I'd rather read about roller coasters or watch them on TV than strap myself in to genuine terror. Anyway, here are some book reviews of Christian romantic suspense novels, with varying levels of scares and romance, all enjoyed from the safety and comfort of the nearest armchair. Shadows of Things to Come, by Mishael Austin Witty , presents romance in a Christian college environment, with one door closing and another opening at the start of the

"I read your book" and a cat tale in paperback

It happened! That moment I've dreamed of for years, that time I've read of with shared delight and secret jealousy in other writers' blogs, that preciously impossible wonderfully glorious moment! A total stranger came up to me and said "I've read your book and I enjoyed it"! The book she'd read was Flower Child, and the stranger had read it on her kindle--she was even planning to share it on kindle with her daughter. So I smiled for the rest of the day and the day after it, and more. She'd read my book! Of course, my joy was slightly clouded when the friends around my previously unknown reader said they couldn't read it because it's "only" an ebook and they only read print. So now my dream is to see Flower Child in print one day--but who would print a short novella? And who would pay the money for so short a print book? It's an interesting conundrum. Ebooks give readers and authors a chance to explore the novella in a way they

Are you going to the virtual ebook fair?

It's Sample Saturday again and I'm posting an excerpt from my Five Minute Bible Stories Series (TM) at again in honor of the event. Great for bedtime stories (or so I'm told) and for Sunday School (which I can verify because I've used them there). They're even fun for Bible studies--we used them in a summer women's group one year. So head on over and see familiar stories through slightly different eyes, then visit the virtual fair at / for more samples of writing just waiting to be read on your computer, kindle, kobo, etc... Hope to see you there!

What makes a literary novel?

I've just posted reviews for two more novels and would have tagged both as literary, if only I'd thought to create a literary shelf in my Goodreads library. But can you imagine going back through those 952 reviews to see which books should have been literarily shelved? Of course, if someone would sell me more hours in the day (preferably free) I'd give it a go... but no-one's offered yet. So the books are shelved under mystery and cultural instead. Meanwhile I'm wondering, what makes a novel literary? I was wondering that last time I went to church too--strange the thoughts that drift through the brain sometimes. They were taking the collection and the choir was singing a truly beautiful song--but what makes a song beautiful? What lifts one song in church above all the rest? With my mongrel Christian background, not to mention my English childhood now I've moved to America, I find lots of unfamiliar hymns and religious songs in church services. But I do like

Meet me at the Fair

Are ebooks real? What about virtual ebooks? I'm reading Zvonek 08 in paperback at the moment and thoroughly enjoying myself. It's definitely a "real" book, but it's made from a collection of ebook novellas published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing. The hero's a wonderful cat called Zvonek who happens to also be a special agent--08 rather than 007, but if you read the books for yourself you'll soon understand the numbers. Meanwhile I'm posting short stories from my Five Minute Bible Stories Series (TM) on my Bible blog as part of the Virtual EBook Fair's Sample Saturday event. Head on over to , or enter via the garden gate at to read excerpts from lots of great books. Or wander over to to read a five minute story. Hope to see you there. And I hope you'll agree after reading these pieces that ebooks, even ebooks at vir