Showing posts from August, 2016

What do you dream?

As I child, I dreamed dark tales of the end of the world, of standing on a tall building watching the bombs fall down. Friends asked why. Wouldn't hiding away give a better chance of escape? But in my dreams there would be no escape. One of the Big Three--America Russia and China--would eventually push the button and the end would come. I dreamed tragic lovers torn apart by war. I dreamed the last surviving child, maimed and crying. I dreamed... and I wrote down my tales. The English teacher asked why. It's easy to make people cry, she said. Why not stretch myself and make them smile instead? But I did have other dreams and other tales to tell. I wrote stories of heroes (women and teens of course) fighting evil, saving from disaster, and changing the course of history. I liked those dreams. And sometimes I heard the monsters go bump in the night. I still hear them on occasion. Every once in a while they call my name, or a small girl (my children are all sons) cries out to

What if you could travel through books?

Books, glorious books! There's a town on the English Welsh border that's FULL of bookshops, on every corner, every square, and under every awning; bookshops that cross the road; bookshops with themed shelves built into tiny closets set off staircases so narrow you can only pass strangers on the level; bookshops like no other anywhere. It's a wonderful place: So, of course, we went shopping for books. I found a fascinating series by Jasper Fforde with cool literary titles (like the Eyre Affair) and I couldn't resist. My big regret is I only bought book one, but I'll look for more. We traveled in out over through and off bookstores all the afternoon, until youngest son demanded we do something else. Okay, it was quite a beautiful something else! It would have been a shame to miss it. Anyway, having traveled through all those bookstores, and found those Jasper Fforde books, one really must ask, what if you could travel through books as well? So here are som

What Would You Read On A Train?

My travels in England involved several train and underground journeys, besides the flights from and to the USA. So perhaps it's not so surprising I found myself attracted to books that included the presence of trains... unless you look at how scary some of those books were. Would you really read a horror story set in the London Underground's claustrophobic tunnels, triggered by every traveler's nightmare of a stalled train when the lights go out? Anyway, here are some of the books I read, starting with that tale of claustrophobia and scares, Signal Failure by David Wailing . It's a short story, perfect for an Underground ride, and it's the sort of scary story that will have you trying to scare through the blackness around you to see what's out there. Then you're out in the sun again, but somehow... Enjoy with a mug of seriously dark 5-star coffee. My next review is of a short story taking place on the rails overground. OtherWhere: The Crazies by Ga

Do Picture Books have to include Animals?

I know, I've been away from the internet lately. I've enjoyed a wonderful month of visiting with family and friends in England, including a whole week with two of my favorite animals: But I haven't actually followed through on plans to read and write book reviews while I was there. There were so many other exciting things to do (think dogs... thing walking dogs for a start). So now I'm way way behind with everything, sending heartfelt apologies to everyone whose promised review is so drastically overdue, and struggling to catch up with catching up. Since children's picture books are nice short reads, easy to pick up and put down frantic airport travels, and hard to ignore with their bright shining covers looking out from my reading apps or lying on my floor, I guess their reviews are the ones I'm bound to post first. Well... also since they tend to have animals in them. But are their animals as cute as those two dogs? My first animal picture book review i

What's Your Life as a Writer Like?

Today I'm delighted to welcome Charles Salter back to my blog. His Secret of Bald Rock Island has already been followed by Charlotte and the Mysterious Vanishing Place , and I'm still wondering about vanishing time as I realize I've not yet read either book, despite having interviewed Charles on my blog back in June ( ) But I will read them, and I'm looking forward to them. I love middle grade fiction, and I love fiction that allows itself to have meaning, not just excitement. Soon I'll read How Three Brothers Saved the Navy  (coming soon) as well! Meanwhile, welcome, Charles, to my blog, and please accept my sincere apologies for being so slow to read and review. My life as a writer (blogger, editor, reader, and book reviewer) is ever more frantic and frayed, but what about yours? My Life as a Writer By Charles A. Salter             Growing up as I did in a writing family, I suppose it

Can Casual Evil Be Good?

L. Andrew Cooper's Peritoneum and Leaping at Thorns Blog Tour! August 8-14, 2016 Today I'm delighted to welcome Andrew Cooper to my blog. He's the author of Burning the Middle Ground , Descending Lines, Leaping at Thorns, Peritoneum and more, and he's currently touring the internet with lots of great posts, a touch of casual evil, and some serious horror blended with fiction and fun - so don't forget to scroll to the end of this post and learn where else to find him. Welcome Andrew, and thank you for a fascinating, thought-provoking blogpost! Casual Evil, or, The Really Offensive Stuff in my Horror Collection Peritoneum by L. Andrew Cooper Melia looked at her long painted fingernails. Their colors changed as she contemplated them, lavender to aquamarine. “I like to get back to good old NYC. By the way, avoid the subways tomorrow.” “Casualties?” Eli asked. “Meh. Not many deaths. Some nice footage of burn victims on the news, though.” Me

History and Mystery in The Movie Star and Me

I love books. I love fiction. I love to see the lives of imaginary people, the way their tales play out with shape and form, reminding me my own story has meaning after all. And I love movies - like books read in concert with family and friends, spending time together in an imaginary world where symbols all have meanings, and stories have beginnings, middles and ends. So what about this book - The Movie Star and Me. My first thought was, is it fact or fiction. I'm not a great reader of biographies or watcher of star interviews. But it's fiction, set in Old Hollywood, with all its cool technology and eagerness to please. I really think I'll like this one. The protagonist sounds intriguing. The mystery sounds cool. And if "people aren't always what they seem to be" then I immediately want to know more. What about you? ABOUT THE BOOK Author Kelly Durham has captured Old Hollywood in his entertaining new novel , The Movie Star and Me (August 9, 2016)