Showing posts from February, 2013

Review--Lucy the Wonder Weenie

Lucy The Wonder Weenie by Nina Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anyone who's ever been owned by a dachshund will appreciate the tales of Lucy the Wonder Weenie. These small dogs with big attitude pack a lot of love and intelligence into their sausage-shaped bodies.

Lucy eats magic beans which transform her into Wonder Lucy, who helps fight bullying and shows a lot of love to the children in her neighborhood by covering them with wet doggy kisses, turning their tears to giggles.

The illustrations by Sara Pulver are dynamic and vibrant, and the story by Nina Clark captures the essence of diva dachshunds. The only thing that kept it from getting five stars was it's too short! I would love to have seen Lucy's amazing powers in action more in this volume, but hope that it's just the beginning of a lifetime of adventure (and magic beans) for Lucy the Wonder Weenie.

Disclaimer--this book was sent to me by the author, who knew I have my very own diva dachshund. She also gave Lucy…

Review--The Third Bullet (Bob Lee Swagger #8) by Stephen Hunter

The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bob Lee Swagger appears to come full circle in The Third Bullet. His first adventure, Point of Impact, involved an assassination with a patsy who was cast in the Lee Harvey Oswald role. Now a much older Bob investigates the Kennedy assassination itself, and gets caught up in events beyond a conspiracy theorist's wildest fantasies. However, Bob's age is also a factor. He can't keep pushing 70 and still take down Special Forces Ops forever. I hope Hunter will continue the adventures with Bob's offspring, but perhaps it's time to retire the old man. At least if he is retiring, Bob Lee's going out with a bang.

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Boskone 50, or "How I Spent My Winter Vacation"

Boskone 50 is a regional SF convention held in Boston in February. If it wasn't for this being such a fabulous convention (and the opportunity to see my sons who live up North), I can assure you I would never board a plane to leave Florida and go into Nor'Easter country in winter. But I've been doing it for ten years now, and even with the occasional blizzards and travel delays, it's still one of my favorite trips.

I flew to NYC and took the Acela train to Boston, as usual, and marveled again at how comfortable train travel is these days compared with flying.  The conference was at the Westin Waterfront, as it has been for most of the past decade and will continue to be in the near future. It's a nice hotel, a short taxi ride from South Station. In fact, last year the weather was so pleasant that I walked, rolling my suitcase behind me.

I didn't have any panels scheduled Friday night so I got my credentials and hung out with people, catching up on gossip, then …

Happy Valentine's Day!

Julia sniffed. “I am impressed you can recite poetry, Washburn.
Rather like a counting pig at the fair. One watches in amazement,
wondering how an animal can do that.”
“Oh, now that hurts, darlin’! I can say pretty things, too!”
He crossed to where she stood beside the bed, and took her hand in
his. His touch was warm, and she gave an involuntary shiver that had
nothing to do with the night air.
He stroked the ball of her hand with his thumb, soothing over the
nicks and calluses raised by the chores of daily farm work. He took his
other hand and lifted her chin, looking deep into her eyes.
“Y’know how when you whack the woodpile, and all them big ol’
palmetto bugs come scamperin’ out? Your eyes are just as brown and
shiny as a palmetto bug runnin’ in the sunlight, darlin’.”--Smuggler's Bride

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day with your special sweetie is filled with love, chocolate, and no palmetto bugs*.

This is the cover of the German edition of Smuggler's Bride. No…

My Boskone 50 Schedule

I'll be sitting in on some of the wonderful program items offered this year, but here's my schedule. If you see me at Boskone, please say "Hi!" I love meeting new friends and seeing old ones each February.

Reading: Darlene Marshall (Reading), Sat 11:30 - 12:00, Independence (Westin)Going Graphic in the e-Book Age (Panel) (M), Sat 13:00 - 13:50, Burroughs (Westin)Humor in the Stuff We Read (Panel), Sat 14:00 - 14:50, Carlton (Westin)Silver Anniversary of the Liaden Universe (Other), Sat 17:00 - 18:20, Burroughs (Westin)The Spirit of the Place (B48) (Panel), Sun 11:00 - 11:50, Harbor I (Westin)
My books will also be on sale at Old Earth Books in the Hucksters Room.
Boskone is Feb. 15-17 in Boston. I'm packing my snowboots and mittens and I'm good to go!

Review--Queen's Hunt

Queen's Hunt by Beth Bernobich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ilse Zhalina's tale continues in Queen's Hunt, and the second River of Souls book lives up to the promise of Passion Play. The tale is expanded to introduce more characters (and more POV), but the author manages to keep juggling all the narrative balls without dropping any.

One of the best parts of the book for me was the development of strong female secondary characters, especially in the scenes where three women are traveling together, depending on each other and their own skills rather than on a man's assistance. It's a fantasy trope we don't see often enough.

My favorite line from the novel regards Ilse and her lover, Raul: "He does not come to rescue me. He comes to deliver me weapons."

Hunky, and not clueless. Now, that's a hero!

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The Rest of the Story

The Writers Alliance of Gainesville (WAG) featured my upcoming March 10 presentation on the front page of the WAG Digest. They included this line from my biography: "Darlene lives in North Central Florida, a convenient location for researching sites of great historical significance...." but didn't include the rest: "...that also happen to be at the beach and serve mojitos."

I mean, give me credit for having some standards!

Anyway, the March 10 talk will be at the Millhopper Branch Library in Gainesville, Florida, at 2:30. I will have books with me and the title of the talk is "I Love A Happy Ending--The Allure of Publishing's Most Profitable Genre". You can read the full WAG Digest at their website.