Tuesday, August 23, 2016


WintertideWintertide by Linnea Sinclair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I very much enjoyed An Accidental Goddess and was intrigued to see there was a prequel setting up more information about the society in that novel. Where Goddess was SF, Wintertide is pure epic fantasy, but quite well done. The protagonist is a classic young person on a quest, but it's always a pleasure to see a woman in that role for a change. I figured out what was happening with the love interest from the scene with the flower chain, but it was still a satisfying read. I especially liked how she wasn't dependent on her lover to complete her quest.

A good, solid story with interesting characters, perfect for a long plane ride.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Review--Tell No Lies

Tell No LiesTell No Lies by Gregg Hurwitz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was good, but it wasn't keep-me-up-all-night-reading good. I couldn't buy into the villains having the skills to pull off as much as they did, and it was too over the top. But the premise was solid and the characterization, especially the probation counseling group, was very well done.

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Review--The Bourbon Thief

The Bourbon ThiefThe Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A true Southern Gothic tale with deeply buried family secrets about incest, sexual assault, race, the origins of the family fortune, and bourbon, of course. For bourbon is the southern drink of choice for generations, and while it's a part of celebrations, it's also been behind family tragedies as well.

The Bourbon Thief begins with a beautiful woman, a one night stand, and a stolen bottle of rare bourbon. The thief begins to tell her tale, unraveling a skein of deception and drama through a long night fueled by bourbon.

I liked it, a lot, but there were moments where I rolled my eyes over the lack of clarity between characters. One or two grown-up conversations might have staved off a great deal of heartache, but that wouldn't have made for a very good story.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Review--Illusion Town (Ghost Hunters, #13)

Illusion Town (Ghost Hunters, #13)Illusion Town by Jayne Castle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jayne Castle Harmony world books are comfort reads. You're there for the Dust Bunnies and for the exotic location, and protagonists who are pretty much the same protagonists in each book--she's afraid of intimacy, he's buttoned up in some fashion or very logical and unemotional.

This one is set in a Las Vegas doppelganger, a favorite setting for Ms. Castle in her Jayne Anne Krentz books as well. It has the glitz, the glamour and the dark side of a gambling and entertainment haven built on over-the-top illusion. It has a Vegas style quicky wedding with a "We did _what_ last night?" morning after, and a mystery that brings back characters from previous novels across the Krentz/Castle/Quick spectrum.

This one was rather heavy on the exposition, but I may have felt that way since I'm such a longtime reader. Would I buy another one? Sure. But new readers may want to start with some of the earlier Harmony books to get a feel for the series.

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Saturday, August 06, 2016

Review--Jane Steele

Jane SteeleJane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever read a Victorian novel where you wished the heroine would just pick up something sharp and stab the evil people beleaguering her?

Me too.

Enter Jane Steele, who doesn't tolerate pedophiles, wife beaters or rapists and makes her displeasure known with extreme prejudice. She's a fan of Jane Eyre (while seeing some of the flaws in poor Miss Eyre's choices) and has to make her own way as a governess for a rather unusual household in the English countryside.

I thought it was delicious, and I read it in one afternoon. There was intrigue, and intriguing characters and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll look for more of Ms. Faye's novels after enjoying Jane Steele

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Friday, August 05, 2016

My Worldcon Schedule

It's almost time for MidAmeriCon II, the World Science Fiction Convention. I'll be moderating two panels this year and I'm looking forward to a lively program:

Writing Erotica
Wednesday 16:00 - 17:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Erotica might be said to be created to stimulate or sexually arouse the reader or viewer. We ask what the difference is between erotica and pornography, what the place of erotica is within the sf community and its works. We might share the odd tip as to what makes good -- or bad -- erotica.
Adult Content. Not for Children.
Rachael Acks, Christie Meierz , Belinda McBride, Jeffe Kennedy, Darlene Marshall (M)

The "One True Love" Narrative Trap in Young Adult Fiction...and How to Smash It!Saturday 10:00 - 11:00, 2503A (Kansas City Convention Center)

True love in YA fiction has been a mainstay of the genre, but life is rarely that simple, especially for teens...even fictional teens! Why do we fall into this trap? Authors share their tips and tricks for writing love, romance, and the teen dating scene.
Darlene Marshall (M), Sarah Beth Durst, Tessa Gratton, Peadar O Guilin, Denise Grover Swank

See you in Kansas City!

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Happy #WatermelonDay!

“Watermelon!” Jack said. “I don’t believe I have had any yet this season.”
“What is it?” Sophia said, and the Reavers and Jack stared at her.
“You ain’t never had watermelon?” Tom piped up.
“No. It is a melon? But how do you eat it?” she said, eyeing the large chunks of fruit.
“Show the lady, Tom.” Martha laughed.
Tom grabbed a chunk off the middle of the plate and dived in headfirst, snapping off a sizable piece, chewing it with delight, and then spitting the seeds out the door.
“You are joking,” Sophia said to Jack.
“No, that’s how you eat watermelon. You learn this and soon you will be a real Floridian.”
He was grinning at her and reached for his own slice of melon, and never one to resist a challenge, Sophia wiped her hand on her table linen and picked up her own slice. The juice ran down her fingers but she managed to bring it up to her lips without too much trickling down her sleeve. She took a bite and there was an explosion of sugar in her mouth, and a cooling sensation from the juicy fruit.
“Oooh,” she moaned when she caught her breath, “this is wonderful!”
--The Bride and the Buccaneer

Watermelons are a local crop, and I'm darn glad of it. When I was carrying my first child in the middle of a brutal Florida summer, I ate so much watermelon I'm surprised that boy didn't pop out spitting seeds!

It's still a favorite summer treat, and it's so good for you--high in vitamins, fiber, water, and, of course seeds. You can purchase seedless watermelon, but there goes half the fun of eating it.

Enjoy your summer, and all the bounty it offers!