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Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
Dodging and Not Dodging Bullets

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks. My husband’s uncle fell and ended up in the hospital. Over the course of the following weeks, he’s had surgery and complications and then things looked promising and hopeful, and then bleak, then promising, then bleak. Now he’s going into hospice, though it’s not really clear to me exactly what is wrong. That’s mostly because he’s been very private about his health and now the doctors are discovering things we didn’t know about. The word cancer has arisen, and apparently he’s had multiple small strokes. Anyhow, my husband has gone to help his dad manage things and get his uncle settled somewhere comfortable and where he can get cared for. He fractured a vertebrae when he fell, and broke his nose, and he’s diabetic, so he’s going to need assistance. I wish I could have gone to help too, but the kids have school, I have Orycon and a signing at Powells, and a couple of can’t-miss appointments, and then there are the parent-teacher meetings. So. We’ll be apart for Thanksgiving. At least he’ll be with family.

That’s the bullet we didn’t dodge. On the positive, my husband’s powersteering unit exploded. Okay, that’s not terribly positive, but it happened in the driveway, so he wasn’t out on the road, and my son wasn’t driving it somewhere. I count those as positives.

We also dodged a bullet insomuch as my husband has time he can take off from work.

In the meantime, I’m trying to get people to read my books, as you do when you have a new release and make a living from writing books. So if you’re feeling kind, please consider reviewing my books and telling others about them. Even better, tell me how you like them because I do like to know. And if you have questions, feel free to ask. 

In the meantime, a corgi face:

 

 

 

 

Friday, February 26th, 2016
Book Review Roundup

I’m way behind on my Netgalley reviewing. So I’m going to jump in with some long and some shorts. All these books came off Netgalley.

I’ll start with the book I finished most recently, called A Jury of One by Charlie Cochrane.  This is a British police procedural combined with romantic elements as it follows the developing relationship between the detective, Robin and his lover, Adam. They met in the previous book in this series and at this point, they are newly living together.

I really enjoyed this book. It feels very realistic and the mystery and love story elements were both well written. The mystery wasn’t easy to see through, which I like, and there were a lot of possible ways for the investigations to go. There are several crimes that overlap and end up weaving together nicely. The romance between the two men suffers from the problems of new relationships, the uncertainties of each man, a certain amount of jealousy. I thought it was well done.

The only drawback for me, and it wasn’t entirely a drawback, was the extensive use of British slang. Police are known as rozzers, bad guys are scrotes, voicemail is answerphone. A lot of these were easy to figure out in context. Where I stumbled was when I couldn’t sort out the meaning. I thought these words gave a lot of reality  to the world, I just wish there weren’t quite so many. Or a glossary. I like a good glossary. So I’d recommend this one. It comes out March 21st.

 

Another book I finished recently was a romance called Catching Summer by L.P. Dover. It’s contemporary about a woman, Summer, who two years ago witnessed her husband’s murder. She’s now come out of her grief with the help of counseling. A former nurse, she helps run a restaurant with her sister and former brother-in-law. A lot of football players from the local NFL team frequent the restaurant and one, Evan Townsend, has fallen for Summer. He’s not made any moves on her because of her past trauma. So that’s the set up. love the witch

I didn’t find this book that successful. I liked Evan and Summer and most of the time I liked their interactions, particularly because they didn’t get stupid for ridiculous reasons. That was a huge plus. What did bother me was the constant use of ‘fuck’ to describe their sexual activities. Not romantic, at least to me. Then there was the schtick where Summer goes back for ‘certification’ to keep her nursing license. She works two weeks with the team doing medical things including relearning CPR and it just seemed completely ridiculous that this would keep her nursing license current. Another thing that bothered me was the beginning which started 2 years previously and then leaped forward. I didn’t find it all that useful and it was really more a distraction.

In the end, while I did want to finish, I kept getting put off and out of the story and it didn’t work as well as I hoped it would for me.

The next book is Love the Witch, Hate the Craft by Nora Lee. This is the first of a series. It’s got a little bit of the feel of a cozy mystery, with magic. The heart of the story is really about a Rowan who’s come home to her town that she swore never to return to, in order to help save the Elder Tree, which is dying. Should it die, so will the town. Stir in the fact that she’s just broken up with her boyfriend and a local warlock has decided he wants to marry her in order to become the head of the coven, and also the fact that her friend’s kid has uncontrollable magic. Rowan is going to be busy.

In general, I liked the story. Rowan is supposed to be taking over the coven at some point because of her family, and she has to want to come back. She gets to see the town and her friends and family with new eyes and of course, everything turns out all right. This is a fairly fluffy book, as you can tell from the cover. It’s a quick read and pretty fun.

 

fairytaleThis next one is Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey. This one was fluffy like the last book, and also a romance. Not a great deal of depth, though I enjoyed the interactions between Izzy and Rob. She was jilted by his best friend, and Rob’s been in love with her for long before that. They were friends also, but she’s been unwilling to see him since the wedding, since he got to deliver the bad news and she punched him. She’s embarrassed.

The story begins with a snowstorm that keeps her from getting home to her shady sort of flat where a guy lives who is portrayed as a potential rapist, and at one point he does grab her. She runs into Rob and he takes her home where she stays through the storm and they connect.

Things roll forward and they figure out they’re in love. This is a Christmas story, so the holidays are the backdrop, and the other cast of characters are delightful. Izzy is a wedding dress designer and ends up helping Rob’s sister with her dress last minute.

This book is light reading and fun and a good Christmas story.

 

 

I have more to review, so there will be another roundup soon.

 

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
Back in the saddle again

I came back from the writing retreat having written 32, 281 words in basically 3.5 days. I am completely stunned. I have never written that much in that little time, ever. I worked on the sequel to The Incubus Job (comes out in just six days!!). It’s what you might call a zero draft. That means that I tried to just write story and not worry about the research elements, or making up names for particular people or things, and so on. I just put and asterisk and described what should go there. I’ll be able to search asterisks and fix those, though I’ll probably just end up combing through the whole thing when it’s done and revise and catch them that way.

I never write like that. Devon Monk encouraged me to try and it was kind of freeing. I’m going to use that technique in the next couple days to write an anthology story I have due soon. I doubt I can do 10,000 words a day since I’ve got obligations here that I didn’t have in the rainforest, but I think I could get at least 4 or 5K. If I don’t get bogged down in doing stuff on the net. I’m thinking of getting the Antisocial app, but I’m wondering if there’s a free sort of thing out there that works the same way.

The writers retreat is at The Rainforest Resort Village which sounds a lot less rustic than it actually is. We got to stay in a cabin with a back sliding glass window and deck overlooking a very babbley creek and beyond that, the lake. Geese flew in and out and it was absolutely lovely, even raining most of the time. We had a fire going in the cabin and a little kitchenette, and we hunkered down and wrote like fiends. It was fabulous. I love doing this retreat and plan to go next year, crossing my fingers I register before they sell out.

Once I got back, I had to finish the copy edits on Whisper of Shadows, the next Diamond City Magic book, which will be out April 15. Got that done, then worked on the tax receipts. I always have the best intentions of inputting those receipts into my spreadsheet throughout the year, and I always have to do it right at the end. They were all in one place. I keep a file bin hanging on my wall in my office to stuff them into.

I also went out and bought some manure and worm castings for the garden, along with three plants for the rock garden we hope to put in shortly (we need to create better drainage in that location before we can.)  My peonies are all in bloom and so are some other flowers. Plus the crocuses are up and so many. The former owners had planted them and this year some came up where they hadn’t before. I guess the wet this year really helped them.

I’m just about on schedule with my reading for this year. Trying to read at least six books a month, not including my own. Need to finish the one I’m reading–a British police procedural–to get my 12 for the year. I tend to let reading slip when I’m tired or really busy and just veg in front of the TV. I’m trying hard to avoid that and read, which most of the time I enjoy a lot more. A lot of them I get from Netgalley, which lets me discover a wider range of authors than I might ordinarily encounter, and a wider range of topics. So that’s been very nice.

And now, to go do some of that reading . . .

 

Monday, October 12th, 2015
Book review: The Society Lilith Saintcrow

I received this book from NetGalley.

I enjoy reading Lilith Saintcrow. I was looking forward to The Society quite a bit and sadly found myself disappoisocietynted. It has a terrific premise, but it wasn’t executed as well as I hoped and then the big one for me . . . Well, I’ll get to that in a minute. First, the book description:

Will she be the Society’s salvation . . . or its downfall?

The black-ops government agency called Sigma broke Justin Delgado, trained his psionic talent, and turned him into a killer. Then he escaped and joined the Society, an underground resistance movement of psions determined to use their talents to bring Sigma down. Competent, cold, and cruelly efficient, he’s the best operative the Society has, a legend among the psions who fight a shadow war against an enemy that owns the courts, the press, and the police. Feared even by his own teammates, hunted by the government, and too damaged to feel anything but clinical rage, he is utterly alone—until he meets Rowan.

When Rowan Price stumbles across Delgado’s team in an abandoned house, he is assigned to make contact with her, bring her in, and keep her alive—because Rowan is one of the most powerful psychics the resistance has ever encountered. If the government gets its hands on her, she could very well mean the downfall of the resistance, because nobody, not even Rowan, is quite sure how far her talents extend.

The Society will welcome Rowan, if she can stay alive long enough to join them. Unfortunately, there’s a traitor buried in the ranks. If the Society goes down, Rowan is at risk. God alone knows what Delgado will do to keep her safe, because Rowan is fast becoming the only thing in the world he cares about . . .

I was looking forward to paranormal action and a thriller element and intrigue. I didn’t get a lot of it. The beginning was promising, with the meeting between Rowan and Justin. But the ongoing story felt like it dragged a bit and didn’t have that much action. A lot of that had to do with Rowan having to learn how to use her powers and to understand the world she’s come to live in. In the meantime, much of the interesting action happened off page.

Then we get to the romance element. It’s slow. And by slow, I don’t mean it takes awhile to build, I mean that it wort of plateaus and stops and then starts again without seeming to grow.

I wasn’t really clear on what Sigma or the Society were up to. I wanted to know more on all of that.

Even so, I was intrigued enough to want to keep reading. Until I got the end when the book just stopped. Not a cliffhanger. Just a stopping. It felt incomplete and unresolved on so many levels. I was disappointed at the end. No getting around it. I’d hoped to have a better experience.

 

Sunday, December 15th, 2013
Book buying promo post

It’s coming up on Christmas. Are you getting gifts for people? If so, let me suggest my books. If you can’t find them (the Crosspointe are temporarily hard to come by), just email me and I’ll sell them to you and sign them and send them. Any of my books, really. Or you can get them at most fine book establishments. So introduce your friends to my books. Introduce your family. Introduce total strangers!

For emailing me, you can go to my contact link and just send me an email and we’ll set it up.