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Path BooksDiamond City Magic
Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
*gnashing teeth*

Today has been a crappy writing day. And by that, I mean I hardly got anywhere. Lots of typing and erasing and doubting and, well, see the title of his post.

I did write a little bit I do like, so rough as it is, I’m sharing:

I contemplated what to do. The trouble was that doing wasn’t exactly an option. That meant my only option was to open the door on the spirit world inside myself. Easy peasy. And for my next trick, I’d fly to Mars and back, and then jump a tornado to Oz.

The trouble was, I didn’t have any other choices, reasonable or not. It wasn’t like I was going anywhere. I took a breath and let it out and focused my attention on the problem. That’s when I noticed how uncomfortable I was. Let me say this: any reasonably well-endowed woman lying face down is for any length of time is going to start to feel a certain ache in her boobs. Before long, it’s going to turn into a raging ache. My panic attack had distracted me from the mild discomfort portion of the show, and now I had to bite my lip to tolerate the ever-increasing throbbing pain. Maybe I could shoot for a trifecta and get cramps and my period now, too.

If I could have, I would have shaken my head. As it was, I mentally smacked myself for going off track—not to mention tempting fate–and pulled myself back to the problem at hand.

Monday, July 6th, 2015
Progress made

You may not know this, but the third Diamond City Magic book is due at the end of this month. And I’m yanking my hair out. Mostly because where I thought it was going to end isn’t going to be where it ends and I’ve got to figure out a solid ending. But I have plenty of stuff to put into the next book. I left Riley in a rather bad place today, and oh! I managed to squeeze in an Elmer Fudd reference. Cuz yanno. That’s always entertaining. For me anyhow. And really, if I’m not entertained, how will you be?

Family is important in this book, as you might guess. And someone just found a family skeleton in the closet. It’s so fun!!!

And a small snippet:

“The FBI brought you here,” he said, his voice lifeless.

“They thought I could help,” she said with a little nod.

“Help them break me.”

“If I could. They needed to see you for what you are.”

His head tipped. “What am I?”

Her lip curled. “An abomination. A demon from the depths of hell. Satan’s own spawn.”

 

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
Book review: Sally MacKenzie’s What to Do With a Duke

I took the boy to his doctors appointments today. Knitted on the way up, then read this book while waiting, and got stuck in traffic on the way home (the man drove up, I drove home). Anyhow, I’m a sucker for regencies, so I was looking forward to this one.

Caveat: I received this from NetGalley.

The description of What to Do With A Duke intrigued me. The Duke of Hart is going to his family estates to find the next spinster to be installed in Spinster House. It seems that 200 years ago, the wealthy orphaned daughter of a merchant set up the house for a spinster from the village who needed a place to live independently. When the current spinster marries or dies, the Duke must choose the new resident from the candidates who present themselves. In the meantime, the same woman who founded the house, apparently has also put a curse on the Dukedom. Every duke will be doomed to die before his heir is born. So he marries and gets his wife pregnant, and before she can deliver, he dies. So far, five dukes have suffered that exact fate.

Enter Cat (short for Catherine) who is desperate to get away from her loud, boisterous family. At 24 years old, she never has room or time for herself, constantly helping take care of her many siblings. She has no interest in marriage and desperately longs to be installed at the Spinster House. Marcus, the current Duke, at thirty years old, is feeling lonely and wants a companion, though he believes in the curse and is certain that when he marries and gets his wife pregnant, he’ll die. All his friends and servants buy into the curse as well. Of course, when he and Cat meet, sparks fly and soon they find themselves drawn to each other, and uncertain anymore what they want or believe.

I loved the dialog in the book. It felt realistic and was witty and funny. The supporting cast were wonderful, from Cat’s family, to the village locals, to the duke’s servants, and his estranged mother. Their attraction to each other was startling to both and fun to watch grow. On the whole, I really enjoyed the book. I also loved the idea of the Spinster House, and the history of the curse and Isabella (the merchant’s daughter).

I did have a few issues, though. First, I had a hard time believing that Cat’s good friends, even jealous and angry with her, would do what they did (avoiding spoilers here, so apologies for the vagueness). Second, Marcus spends an awful lot of time thinking about his cock. After awhile, the word gets really repetitive. The thing I didn’t like the most was the curse. I had a hard time that Marcus believed it so strongly. The author reinforced it so much that it felt a little bit like “the lady doth protest too much.” I love the conceit, but I wanted to see more showing of how it affected his life and his choices, rather than having that summed up by his mother and by introspection.

I’d give this book a solid 3.5 /5 stars.

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
Books I’ve been reading

I’ve read about five books in the last few weeks that I haven’t reviewed here. Mostly they didn’t thrill me and I didn’t feel like talking about them. They were okay, but not particularly good or bad. Well, one was kinda bad. Anyhow, if I didn’t get them from NetGalley, I don’t feel obligated to review them. And even then I don’t. If I don’t like it enough, I send a note the publisher saying so. Mostly I prefer to review books that I find meaty to review. By that I mean interesting problems, or damned good reads, or books that move me in some fashion. These others have simply been fine. Entertaining on some levels, but nothing I care to spend time on reviewing.

Tomorrow, or almost today, is a doctor day with the boy. I don’t have to drive this time, so I’ll knit on the way up, read through the two appointments, and knit on the way home. I hope I have enough yarn for these socks. I put a horrible little light blue cuff on the the top of the first one. The bind-off was too loose for my taste. It’s a short sock and very wearable, but I bought a book to learn how to do better socks. Anyhow, have to do the second sock of this pair first.

I need to figure out a good pattern for a baby blanket. Crochet or Knit. Haven’t found anything I love yet. Starting to think about making stuff for Xmas gifts. I know, crazy, but since it takes time, I figure I out to start thinking.

Still worried about dad. No real change yet. Spent the evening with the folks and that was nice. Tried to go out and see the Venus/Jupiter conjunction but couldn’t find it. I don’t know if we weren’t looking low enough on the horizon. Thinking about heading outside to try again. And then sleep.

 

 

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.