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Archive for June, 2015

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Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
Rewind, rip, state of confusion

Let’s start with what has nothing to do with the title. My dad’s foot is infected again. Apparently the bone infection wasn’t completely gone. He’s now getting daily infusions for the next month, so they put a PICC line in. There’s a scary possibility that there might be gangrene. I’m not sure when we’ll know. Anyhow, we wait and hope.

As for the subject of the post, I hit a wall with the book. I backed up and chopped out about 3K words and now I’m trying to pick up where I”m going next and how this book is going to finish out and I’ve got about fifty gallons of stuff to stuff into a teaspoon. I can do this.

Crap.

 

 

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
More movie snark

The problem with Jurassic Park III (as if there’s only one) is that Billy is played by the same guy who played, Henry Crawford in Mansfield Park, which means that I can’t get my head around him being a paleontologist student. Also, when he goes and jumps off to rescue Eric, I kept humming, “Billy, don’t be a hero, don’t be a fool with your life . . .”

On the other hand the rest of the cast rocks it. Love Sam Neill, Tea Leoni, and William Macy, not to mention Michael Jeter. And of course, love the velociraptors.

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
snarky movie stuff

We’re watching Jurassic Park 2, aka, The Lost World. There are some wonderfully fun moments. I especially love the velociraptors. But then I always do. This may be the only movie I ever liked Vince Vaughn in.

But here’s the thing. This movie suffers a great deal from Horror movie stupidity. The kind that sends people wandering outside with the nasty killer out there. The dinosaur experts apparently have absolutely no idea what dinosaurs are, practically. There are two of them, including the Julianne Moore character (what a waste of talent for this movie) who don’t seems to have read or studied any of the stuff that Dr. Alan Grant did, because they haven’t any clue. It’s ridiculous.

Then there’s when the boat crashes. Nobody gets out of the way, even though they see it coming.

There’s oh so many other ridiculous moments, but still it’s fun. Jeff Goldblum is really not very well utilized, but at least he has some good lines.

I want so much to MST2K this movie over Twitter with someone.

I’m still rooting for the dinosaurs.

Sunday, June 21st, 2015
Hurtling through time

My birthday is now over. I’m one year older and wow, my life these days seems to be hurtling by. I need to do more stopping and smelling of the roses.

That’s it. That’s all I got. Except for this. A good reminder.

 

Friday, June 19th, 2015
Book review: Killer Run by Lynn Cahoon

I managed to read most of this book while waiting at my son’s doctors appointments yesterday.

Received from NetGalley

Killer Run by Lynn Cahoon is the fifth in her Tourist Trap mystery series. I’ve not read any of the earlier books, and that turned out to be a bit of a problem. The premise of this story is that the town has organized a 5K run. During the event, the body of a woman is discovered. The main character, Jill Gardner, owner of the local coffee shop, is one of the organizers. She’s also been known to solve some mysteries, which apparently has resulted in some trouble for her. This time, however, she’s promised her detective boyfriend, Greg, that she will keep out of it.

The book is definitely a cozy sort of mystery. It focuses on a lot of the local relationships between Jill and her friends, family, and frenemies, more than it does on the solving of the mystery. I enjoyed reading the book, but I did wish it had a little bit more depth in terms of those relationships. I found it difficult to believe that Jill’s aunt was actually 70, given the way she spoke. Their relationship was fun, but I found that frequently situations turned a little emotional, then went unresolved as neither spoke about their issues. I also thought that the relationship with Greg was a little cold. I wondered if that was because I hadn’t read previous books, but I wanted a little bit more feeling of connection there.

I also wondered about Lille’s animosity toward Jill. It didn’t seem to have any reason behind it. Then the resolution of the truck story kind of came out of nowhere. There were no real clues about it, except that Jill worried a little about the person behind it.

The main mysteries of the vandalism and the murder were fairly well handled, I thought. There were clues that built toward the resolution, though honestly, in the end I found all the culprits’ motivations a little bit thin.

It’s funny. As I read the book, I was interested and wanted to read more, but now that it’s done, it’s a little disappointing, The writing was good and I think that if I’d read earlier books, I’d probably be a lot more connected to the characters. For me, this book gets 3.5/5 stars.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
Trace of Magic on sale today

Hi Everyone! Trace of Magic is $1.99 on sale today on Kindle. I have no idea how long the sale lasts, so grab a copy now, and please tell everybody you know. Link Here.

Monday, June 15th, 2015
Letter to all the acronymical offices who might be now watching me

Dear Law officers and interested parties:

Yes, I did spend time looking up breachers tape, detcord, explosives, detagel, c4, semtek, and so on. Yes I am working on blowing up a building. No, it is not real. It’s in a book. Entirely fiction. Just trying to get the details right to make the scene plausible. Please don’t arrest me.

Sincerely,

me

Monday, June 15th, 2015
Book review: Jane Casey’s Hide and Seek

I received this book from Net Galley.

After reading Jane Casey’s The Kill, I was curious about Hide and Seek. I wondered how her writing skills would translate into writing YA, so I was eager to read this book, and I really liked it. I thought it was engaging, with a cool mystery and a good twist. The interweaving of the secondary characters and their relationships really made the story robust.

The book is set in England. Jess Tennant is a teen. I’m not entirely sure how old she is, but I’m guessing seventeen or so. She’s living with her mom and her aunt and uncle. In a previous book, her parents apparently divorced and they moved back to her mother’s home town. Jess is really happy, especially because her mother is happy. So the fact that her father has moved to town to get back together with her mom worries her. Her father is portrayed as selfish and he cheated on his wife, as well as demoralized and attacked her sense of worth. In other words, he’s not been a great dad or husband, and Jess doesn’t want anything to do with him.

A complicating factor to all of this is that her mom and a local police detective were teenage sweethearts. They had some sort of difficult breakup years before that led both to unhappy marriages. Now both his wife and her ex-husband suspect that they are getting together again. They aren’t the only ones. This is a complication for Jess, who is dating the policeman’s son. She and Will are deeply in love, but have a tendency to argue and fight. He’s been away at school and has just returned for the Christmas holiday.

The story begins with Jess at a party. At that party, Gilly, a schoolmate, seems to have been cornered by some other girls who are trying to get her to talk about something. Pretty quick, Jess tries to step in. Gilly ends up breaking a glass and deliberately cutting herself, even as several people around her make curious comments.

Later that week in school. Jess’s history teacher is making a project assignment and oddly, Gilly refuses to work with her assigned partner. Jess–who has nosy detective sorts of tendency–is instantly curious, especially after the weekend party. She ends up assigned to work with Gilly. Despite asking several questions, Jess is no closer to finding out what’s going on. She makes plans to meet with Gilly later in the week to work on their assignment. Gilly never shows up.

The rest of the book focuses on the hunt to find Gilly. Did she run away? Was she killed? Kidnapped? There are a variety of possibilities and Jess is determined to find out what happened. On the way, she has to deal with her boyfriend’s police detective father, her own father, and the drama of her own life. She’s caught up in trying to decide who she is, who she wants to be, and whether or not she should follow the rules.

The mystery in the book was really good, as was the interweaving of Jess’s personal life. I thought some of the backstory could have used a little more bolstering. I know there are a couple books earlier in the series and I felt that reading them first would have made this book a lot better, especially understanding the relationships between the major and secondary characters. I also was a little confused on Jess’s relationship to her cousins, particularly Hugh. At times she describes him as if he’s threatening, and yet she loves him and seems to feel she has a really great relationship with him. I found that confusing.

Another thing I found confusing was the relationship she had with Will. That could have used a little bit more from previous books, too. It made sense going deeper in, but at the beginning, I wasn’t sure what sort of relationship they really had. At first they are totally in love, but then he turns angry and cold and dismissive. It’s very hot and cold for reasons I can’t see, possibly because the foundation is laid in earlier books.

Another thing I found odd was that the adults didn’t seem to mind Jess’ and Will’s pdas. Especially later on when it’s happening at night. There simply was no comment and no interest in what they were up to, and I found that odd. Especially given the foundation of unwanted pregnancy, it seems odd that only Will’s father says anything at all.

Despite those minor drawbacks, I enjoyed the story a lot. I figured out what had happened pretty quick, but I didn’t see the twist coming, and I was surprised by Jess’ father at the end. I’d like to read the earlier books in the series. Jane Casey is a hell of a writer and I definitely recommend the book.

Saturday, June 13th, 2015
Book Review: Minutes to Kill by Melinda Leigh

I received this book from NetGalley.

Minutes to Kill is the second book in a romantic suspense series. The first book is entirely unnecessary to reading and enjoying this one, however. The story revolves around Hannah Barrette. After a corporate gathering in Las Vegas, she finds herself in the middle of a kidnapping. She tries to help the girl escape, but fails. With a concussion, she returns to her home in Scarlett Falls, NY, where she plans to recuperate and keep and eye on her brother’s dog while he and his family are traveling. Unfortunately, the kidnapper snatched her purse and knows where to find her. He and his brother decide it’s too hot for them in Las Vegas, and they want revenge on the woman who got away.

That sets up the story. Previously, one of Hannah’s brothers was murdered and she became acquainted with Brody McNamara, a local cop in Scarlett Falls. Pretty quick, they find themselves spending a little bit of time together. All too soon, murders start happening in town, neither of them aware that in fact the murderers are the same men who Hannah fought in Vegas.

I’ll admit, as much as I enjoyed the characters and the development of all the relationships, and the story, I had a hard time reading this book. The bad guys are bad. Really bad. I just knew that they were going to do awful things to Hannah and I didn’t want to get there, so I kept putting this book. As a first-time reader of Leigh’s, I didn’t know if I could trust her to make this story work for me.

I was mistaken. The second half of the book is powerful and yes, it’s got violence, but the story plays out in an exciting way that didn’t go where I expected. Don’t get me wrong–the bad guys were bad and Hannah and Brody ended up in serious trouble with them–but it was thrilling and didn’t go where I feared. I  loved the way that Hannah’s and Brody’s relationship developed and the way their pasts and their stories entertwined and influenced the way the story evolved.

The romance was realistic and powerful, and the characters were well drawn. The story was complex and felt real. I totally recommend this book.

Friday, June 12th, 2015
Some word meanings in Path of Fate

I dug this up recently. It’s my worksheet for names in the Path books. You’ll notice that Kebonsat’s name was originally Nomaksat. My editor didn’t care for that name and so I came up with something more workable. Kegonsat doesn’t have any specific meaning. I didn’t use all these and some I modified. But I figured you might want to see some of the background on the books.

I wanted names for Kodu Riik and Patverseme that were linguistically close, but unique. I drew words for each country from Latvian and Estonian dictionaries, and did some modifications to make them work for me as I went. Some stuff is straight out made up, but a lot wasn’t.

path word meanings



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