Showing posts from August, 2013

Review--Midnight Blue Light Special

Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another excellent offering from McGuire, with laugh-out-moments, especially when the mice are in the scene, and truly memorable characters. Verity Price's conflicted love life with Dominic (who still may or may not betray her), her amazing family, and their hereditary enemies, The Covenant, all would be interesting enough, but when you throw in the complicated cryptid community it gets that much better.

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

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Review--The Last Word (Spellmans #6)

The Last Word by Lisa Lutz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There's always been a bittersweet note to the Spellman novels. Yes, they're sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but there are underlying tensions and disappointments for the characters that preclude complete happiness at the end of the novel.

Spellman #6, The Last Word, may be the last of the Spellman novels and it raises the bar on melancholy. Isabel is still careening through life, making mistakes in her judgment, her boyfriends, her wardrobe choices, but it's more disconcerting to see this behavior in a woman in her mid-30s than in a 20 year old. I kept thinking that if I was this woman's BFF, I'd be rolling my eyes at her antics and wondering when she was going to grow up. Perhaps that's what Isabel needs in her life, some female friends who'll tell her home truths.

In addition to dissatisfaction with Isabel's messed up life we have two characters facing debilitating illness, a former flame with real lif…

"Where do you get your ideas?"

“Do you have everything you need?”
Daphne looked at the items in front of her and ticked them off on her fingers.
“I gathered the driest wood and plant shreds I could find. Here is your piece of char cloth. I have my twigs ready and more dry wood. I prepared the firepit.”
“Then stop humming and listen, Miss Farnham.”
Daphne couldn't help it. She was so excited at learning how to make a fire the humming was springing out of her like the water burbling up to the pool. Why had no one ever realized how much she loved learning new things? Why had she never realized it?
Daphne vowed when she returned to England, she would make it her goal to learn one new thing each day. Maybe learn a new word like “gravitas,” or how to build a fire, or how to help gruff surgeons smile.
That last one needed further work.--Castaway Dreams

I'm often asked, as so many authors are, where I get my ideas. Part of the idea behind Castaway Dreams came from one of my favorite movies, 1950's Born Yesterday, wi…

My Worldcon Schedule--LoneStarCon3, San Antonio, Texas

Here's my Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention) program schedule. In addition to these panels, I'm working in the Green Room (look for me on the early morning shift) and will once again be the Voice of the Ghoddess at the Hugo Awards Ceremony, as well as working the after-Hugos party. Whew! 
In addition to my program appearances, signed copies of Castaway Dreams will be available in the Dealers Room at Old Earth Books. Support your indie bookseller and get some great vacation reading. Castaway Dreams is a finalist for the Aspen Gold Reader's Choice Award, sponsored by the Heart of Denver Romance Writers of America. The winners will be announced in September. Also, Castaway Dreams and Sea Change are now available in Kobo editions. They've long been available from all the other major vendors in all formats.
(The (M) means I'm moderating those panels.)
The Future of the Small Press Friday 13:00 - 14:00 Gary K. Wolfe (M), Kaja Foglio, Michael Underwood, Darlene M…

I typed "The End" today on [working title] "The Hot Pirate's Secret Baby", aka "The Pirate's Governess"

Yep. Only five months after missing my self-imposed deadline, I've finished the first draft of novel #7. It's a great feeling, knowing I've got a book I can work with. Oh sure, there's still oodles to be done. Just an hour after I typed "The End" I jumped out of my chair at lunch, ran back to the computer, and changed the wording of the last sentence.

Now I'm going to clean it up. I'll go back through it and where I have brackets like this : [describe dress], [supper menu], [THIS MAKES NO D*MN SENSE AT ALL!!!] I'll fill in the blanks. Or make it make sense.

Then I'll let it sit for a week while I attend LoneStarCon3, the World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Some time away from the book will allow me to look at it with a fresh eye and catch mistakes before I send it to my beta readers.

When it's finally as clean and shiny as I can make it, I'll send it to my publisher, who'll let me know when it will be released.

Review--The Beast

The Beast by Faye Kellerman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's a credit to the author that she can still bring the suspense after 21 books following the same couple. Rina and Peter are talking about moving to live closer to their grandchildren, but in the meantime, there's still one more weird murder case for Peter and his crew to solve. I must admit, I was kept guessing until nearly the end about the "whodunit" details, and stayed up late reading.

The novel was also highlighted by appearances by the Decker's foster son, Gabriel Donatti, and a phone call or two with Gabe's father,the rather sociopathic Chris Donatti in Vegas.  Good times with dysfunctional families!

Naturally, this book will be a must read for Kellerman fans, but those who've never read the series are recommended to begin with the first novel, The Ritual Bath.

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Review--The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are authors who are good, and entertaining, and then there are authors who are in the master class. Neil Gaiman is one of those authors.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a tale of childhood and magic, but where it really shines is in how it captures the fears and realities of childhood, the powerlessness, the terror of things going wrong.

I don't need to write a synopsis of the book. It's Neil Gaiman. Read it. That's all.

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Romance Matters by Darlene Marshall
I’m thrilled to be participating in National Read-A-Romance-Month.  I heard recently from a fan that her 96-year-old mother enjoys my books, and re-reads them often. They’ve become comfort reads for her, and I’m trying to write faster with that particular lady in mind.
We have a shorthand in Romanceland, a language for readers and writers in our genre. If you tell people about your “comfort reads”, they understand it’s those books you can read over and over again, just as one visits old friends or returns to a favorite garden. I’ve always felt if we can share the concept of comfort reads, we can share the concept of a comfort community, a group that knows exactly what you mean when you say “I love romance novels because it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”
If you’re reading this, you are likely a member of that comfort community of readers who appreciate romance. I have friends, well meaning friends, who ask me when I’m going to write a rea…