Monday, April 30, 2012

Life and stuff (and a book review)

Like most readers I worry obsessively about my vision, so I had to run to the ophthalmologist this morning to have an issue examined that doesn't appear to be severe, yet bears watching (heh).  However, the dilation and poking around at my eyes meant I couldn't put in my contacts, which meant I couldn't see the computer comfortably enough in my glasses to get any work done.  Instead, I used the down-time to finish reading a fantasy novel:
Passion Play (River of Souls, #1)Passion Play by Beth Bernobich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lovely novel with an out-of-the-ordinary love story at the heart. The characters and world building made the story flow, and the heroine's journey was told in a realistic and intelligent fashion.


I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series!


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My dilation's nearly worn off, the contacts are back in, and life's more or less normal again.  Whew!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Book Review--Born to Darkness


Born to Darkness (Fighting Destiny, #1)Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked Ms. Brockmann's entry into the universe of dystopian paranormals, featuring kick-ass heroines and superpowered individuals reminiscent of the "X-Men". She's starting a new series with these books, naturally there's a Navy SEAL on-board, and it should appeal to her current fans.


One caveat--there are scenes of children being tortured which will be difficult for some readers to handle.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review--Mockingjay


Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent series, and I can see why it's become so popular. I would certainly recommend it, especially to teen girls who deserve to see a YA heroine whose goals are not about getting a sparkly vampire boyfriend, but rather about saving her family, herself, her friends, her community, and ultimately, her world.


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Friday, April 20, 2012

"In what order should I read your books?"

I get asked this a lot.  While I try to write my books as stand-alone novels, I can recommend reading them in a particular order. The good news is, it's usually just a two-book link, so you don't miss anything by not reading all of them (though of course, I hope you will).

With the upcoming release of Castaway Dreams, I thought I'd update the list:

Sea Change -> Castaway Dreams (summer, 2012)
The Bride and the Buccaneer -> Captain Sinister's Lady
Pirate's Price -> Smuggler's Bride

All of them are available from the usual suspects, including BN.Com, Fictionwise, Amazon and directly from the publisher, Amber Quill Press. Stay tuned, because Amber Quill will soon be rolling out a new website that will make purchases easier and more fun for their readers!




Sunday, April 15, 2012

Website tweaks

My website (www.darlenemarshall.com) do-over turned out to be more of a "nip-and-tuck" than a full facelift, but I'm happy with it.  When I re-examined what I liked and didn't like about my website, and compared it others, it prompted me to make some changes (fresher fonts, bigger buttons at top, Goodreads link, wider page) but leave some other things alone (I like the turquoise and parrots!).  Kudos to my webmaster Jerry at jgtechpro.com for working with me beyond my "I don't like pink and it better not make noise" helpful suggestions.

What I'm really excited about is the upcoming roll-out of Amber Quill Press's new website.  It'll make it easier than ever for customers to buy books, and that's good news for readers and AQP authors.  The website should be live late spring, and I'll post a note when that happens.  In the meantime, the current site is very much live, and you can get some great deals on Sea Change and my other novels there.

Castaway Dreams is still on track for a late-spring release, and believe me, when that book's available at AQP, Amazon, Fictionwise, ARe and all the other usual suspects, I'll be shouting it from the rooftops.  In the meantime, I'm printing up new bookmarks and gearing up the promotions machinery.  There will be Goodreads giveaways of free books, so stay tuned!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Have you hugged a poet today?

April is National Poetry Month.  In honor of the vernal festival celebrating words, I offer some of my favorite poetry (in public domain).  This is particularly apt, because my upcoming summer release, Castaway Dreams, has much of its action set on an island that may be in Bermuda.  I hope your month is also filled with poetry, and good reading:

Bermudas
Where the remote Bermudas ride
In th' Oceans bosome unespy'd,
From a small Boat, that row'd along,
The listning Winds receiv'd this Song.
What should we do but sing his Praise
That led us through the watry Maze,
Unto an Isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own?
Where he the huge Sea-Monsters wracks,
That lift the Deep upon their Backs.
He lands us on a grassy stage;
Safe from the Storms, and Prelat's rage.
He gave us this eternal Spring,
Which here enamells every thing;
And sends the Fowl's to us in care,
On daily Visits through the Air,
He hangs in shades the Orange bright,
Like golden Lamps in a green Night.
And does in the Pomgranates close,
Jewels more rich than Ormus show's.
He makes the Figs our mouths to meet;
And throws the Melons at our feet.
But Apples plants of such a price,
No Tree could ever bear them twice.
With Cedars, chosen by his hand,
From Lebanon, he stores the Land.
And makes the hollow Seas, that roar,
Proclaime the Ambergris on shoar.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The Gospels Pearl upon our coast.
And in these Rocks for us did frame
A Temple, where to sound his Name.
Oh let our Voice his Praise exalt,
Till it arrive at Heavens Vault:
Which thence (perhaps) rebounding, may
Eccho beyond the Mexique Bay.
Thus sung they, in the English boat,
An holy and a chearful Note,
And all the way, to guide their Chime,
With falling Oars they kept the time.
Andrew Marvell :