Showing posts from April, 2015

Claws of Affection

It's time to post more book reviews and I've had a busy week, both reading and writing. Subtraction has grown to 65,000 words and I'm fairly sure I know how to put it all together now, with interlaced past and present chapters until Andrew starts the journey to his future. All I need is to complete the writing and the interlacing. Then I'll get those final "future" chapters out of my head onto the page. Since there's a very active, somewhat mystical cat involved in them, I feel rather like its metaphorical claws keep kneading the back of my brain demanding release. Yes, yes; I will write your final chapter soon. And yes, yes; I do hope I'll do your subject justice 'cause I really don't want you kneading the back of my brain forever. I love cats - don't get me wrong - but those claws of affection really can hurt sometimes. Anyway, here are some book reviews, starting with one starring some wonderful cats. Grab a coffee, and remember the ra

What books would make you want to write - beyond the black sea?

Today I'm delighted to host author M. Joseph Murphy on my blog. He's touring the internet with his latest novel, Beyond the Black Sea, and he's offering a great giveaway, so don't forget to read to the end of this post and enter for your chance to win. But first, grab a coffee and a cookie, then sit down to enjoy the author's views on how we are what we eat... or what we read... 4/6 Books That Made Me Want to Be A Writer,  by M Joseph Murphy They say you are what you eat. Perhaps that true for the mind, especially for writers, it is more correct to say "you are what you read." I am the person I am today specifically because I developed a love for reading at a young age. Before I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to be a writer. So here's a quick list of 6 books that made me want to be a writer. 1. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley Like many, I'm fascinated by Arthurian legends. What is less common, especially for

After School History Club might be fun!

I'm delighted to be one of the host's on I-Am-A-Reader's blog tour for Gianna the Great, by Becky Villareal, today. I was given a free ecopy of the book, so I'm offering my review, below, together with introductions to the story, the author, and a great giveaway, so please read on... About the Book: Gianna just wants to know about her ancestors, but she has to join an after school history club (yuck!) to do it. Now, she’s about to embark on a journey that will change everything she thinks she knows about her family. So says the blurb for this short children's story. I was lucky enough to get a pre-release copy when I volunteered to join the I-Am-A-Reader blogtour, so... here's my review, with a coffee recommendation of course. Try some bright, lively, easy drinking 2-star coffee, and offer juice or water to your second through fourth grade listeners. Gianna the Great is narrated by a pleasing fourth grade girl who isn’t quite sure where she belong

Excerpt from a Tale of Never Giving Up

Today I'm delighted to welcome author Sabrina Rawson to my blog. Her contemporary romantic suspense, Blood Oath, has just been released. It's recommended for age 17+, and includes scenes of violence, rape, kidnapping, PTSD, and human trafficking - a tale of not giving up, whatever has happened in the past. I've got a cool excerpt below for your reading pleasure, and a giveaway, so don't forget to read to the bottom of the page. ABOUT THE BOOK: Collin was prepared for anything, until he met her… Collin spent fifteen years leading a team of operatives renowned for their zero failure rate of disrupting the horrors of human trafficking. Struggling with PTSD, he was ready to retire after one last mission. He had to stick to the mission and any distractions could lead to lives lost. His attraction to Madeline was instantaneous, a future filled with warm nights now possible. Meeting Madeline made him want to let life happen and she was the woman he wanted to s

Look! There's a Yorkie!

I'm delighted to welcome author Toi Thomas to my blog again, in a video series celebration of her second Eternal Curse novel (and a wonderful Yorkie). There's a giveaway too, but I don't think she's offering the dog. Curious? Then please read on. Welcome Toi, and what do you have for us? Welcome friends, I’m Toi Thomas and I want to thank you for giving me a chance to tell you all about my latest book. Eternal Curse: BATTLEGROUND is the second book in my EternalCurse Series and it is bigger and better than the first. Written for both teens and adults, this paranormal adventure is packed full of diverse and dynamic characters, exotic and remote locations, a not too distant future, and of course the ongoing battle between good and evil. Eternal Curse: BATTLEGROUND officially releases May 16, 2015 at the Tidewater Comicon in Virginia Beach, VA and also online. This is a great time to pre-order your copy today! Pre-order:  The ToiBox of Words Sound interes

Why write about sad stuff?

A good friend read an early version of Infinite Sum and asked why I was still writing about the sad stuff. For those who haven't read Divide by Zero, it tells a story of how abuse affects a small-town community. Infinite Sum makes it all that bit more personal by looking at how it affected an individual within that community. So yea, it's sad stuff. And my reviews in this post will all be related to sad stuff of one sort or another. So... why write sad stuff, and why do people read sad stuff? I guess one answer might be because sad stories usually end well--they remind us that even when our lives are at their darkest, there's still hope. Maybe there's a misery-loves-company aspect to it too--when we're down and out, it's helpful, in a down-and-out sort of way, to know somebody out there's worse off than we are. And maybe it's because sad stuff wakens up our emotions. Shadows help us see the light. Darkness blown away reveals life's colors. And hidi

Collecting a series or serializing a collection?

I've been writing Subtraction, rewriting the middle while editing the beginning and dreaming of the end. It's all coming together, at last. There are pieces of the story that I really love - places where Andrew, seeing ties to the past taken away, sets his sights on something more; places where the mystical cat sets her sights very firmly on Andrew; places where... And yes, there are pieces I still hate, but I'm working on them. I remind myself Divide by Zero and Infinite Sum both needed lots of rewrites before they were done. And to hold myself accountable (to real people as well as to Andrew) I've even joined a small critique group. Part one has already been cleaned and tidied there, with wise suggestions made for the direction (or directions) of part two. And I've offered suggestions and comments to my critique partners about their writing too. Meanwhile I'm reading (cooking, cleaning, cutting grass, doing laundry and shopping...) and even sometimes venturi

Light, Even in Darkness

Today I'm delighted to welcome Barbara Stark-Nemon to my blog. She's the author of Even in Darkness, a fascinating novel of the Holocaust and more, and she's currently touring the internet with PRBytheBook .  Having recently read Forgiving Maximo Rothman, by A. J. Sidransky, I'm eager to read this book too, and eager to find the answers to many questions. So grab a virtual coffee -- I'd suggest a five-star dark, intense flavor -- and join our conversation. Hi Barbara. Could I ask you first, inspired you to write Even in Darkness ? Even in Darkness is based on the life of my great aunt, who alone among her siblings did not escape Germany during the Holocaust. Her story of survival—the courage and strength she had to remake herself and her life in the face of unspeakable loss—has been an inspiration to me throughout my adult life. Hers is a beautiful story and having come to know it in depth I wanted to share it and create a legacy for her. I've

Pondering what makes me like a book, and ending up with way too long a list

Did you see the article about my reviews from Martin Shepherd, of the Permanent Press? I have to confess, I've really enjoyed all the books I've received from them. And today I have two more Permanent Press reviews today to start my list. But Marty's article had me wondering, just what is it that defines a book I'll really like. I tried to make a list: The writing should pull me into the story, rather than encouraging my mind to wander elsewhere (perhaps this is why I struggle with audio books, as my eyes are easily distracted)... but inviting my mind to wander is a good thing too; I'd just rather the story keep its hold on me... and surprising, even distracting me is good, as long as I can't help being pulled back again. The characters need to be believable, or at least self-consistent... but unbelievable characters are great if they make me believe in them whil