Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Florida's newest attraction, and it's adorable!

The snap of a breaking stick brought her hand to her gun, but it
was Jack stepping into the light, and Sophia relaxed her tense
“See any panthers while I was gone?”
“Panthers?” she squeaked.
“Large cat, about so high, sharp teeth and claws?” He held his
hand up at about thigh height, or what would be substantially
higher than thigh height on her body, bringing all kinds of soft,
tender, vital parts into a panther’s reach.
“There are panthers here?”
Jack settled himself next to her, then looked around into the
“Panthers, bobcats, alligators…did I forget to mention the
blood-sucking bats?”
“You are making up that last part!”
“You’re right.” He smiled at her. “Mosquitoes, but not bloodsucking
bats. Just small bats. If you move any closer you’re going
to be in my lap.”

--The Bride and the Buccaneer

There's a new kitty in Florida, a rescued, rare Florida panther, Here's some fresh video of this charming native that's guaranteed to make you go, "Awwwwww!"

Zoo's Panther Kitty Loves the Camera

Monday, February 24, 2014

Release Day is coming (and so is spring, hurrah!).

The Pirate's Secret Baby is set for release in early March, and you can read excerpts at the Amber Quill Press site. The book will be available in paper and all ebook formats from all the usual suspects. Here's a blurb to tide you over until you get to have pirates, and more pirates: 

The captain of the Prodigal Son has a deserved reputation as the deadliest (and best dressed) pirate in the Caribbean, but Robert St. Armand’s totally at sea when it comes to “Marauding Mattie”, the daughter he never knew he had. How in the world can he deal with the littlest pirate, one who prefers knife-throwing to arithmetic lessons, and who’d rather be keelhauled than eat her beets? He needs help! 
Lydia Burke is living a safe life, separated from England by an entire ocean. It’s exactly what she needs and she’s not going to risk her boring, but secure, position as a governess to consort with pirates, especially one who’s too pretty for his own good or her peace of mind.
No self-respecting governess would be willing to come aboard the notorious Prodigal Son, but Robert didn’t fight his way to the top by letting small obstacles like scruples stop him. If he can’t hire Lydia Burke, he’ll steal her and take her to England with them, certain he can charm her into his bed along the way as an added bonus on the voyage.
It will be a true voyage of discovery for the pirate and the governess, as one learns to navigate the rocky shoals of parenthood while the other tries to keep deadly secrets hidden, and both will find that while it’s a child who initially brings them together, the growing passion between them offers the greatest temptation.

More on this as it develops!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Review--Rescue Warriors: The U.S. Coast Guard, America's Forgotten Heroes

Rescue Warriors: The U.S. Coast Guard, America's Forgotten HeroesRescue Warriors: The U.S. Coast Guard, America's Forgotten Heroes by David Helvarg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book whose title says it all. The US Coast Guard is a service that dates back to the founding of our nation. It's always been a mix of fighting force, life saving, research, police work, education, but sadly it's so often overlooked or shuffled from department to department. Now the USCG is under Homeland Security, and only time will tell if the service once sneered at as "The Treasury's pet navy" is in its best placement.

The only reason I didn't give the book a five star rating is because I would have enjoyed more Coast Guard history in one volume. I think that story is still waiting to be written.

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Some thoughts on Starz Black Sails

“I will leave this go for now, miss. Shall we continue with our reading of the life of Anne Bonny?”
“Oh yes, Captain Papa! Anne Bonny would never tattle on the crew, would she?” Mattie sat up on her knees, her nightshirt tangled in the bedclothes.
“Under the covers with you, so you don’t catch a chill, and then if Miss Burke will adjust the lantern we will read.”
Mattie hurriedly climbed beneath the quilt, folding her hands atop the covers and looking like a curly topped cherub, a cherub wanting stories of mayhem and murder.
“Now, where were we—did we talk about Anne’s special friend, Mary Read?”
Mattie shook her head, her eyes wide. “The other girl pirate, Papa?”
“Yes, and we’ll read more of her later. But for now you need to know Mary and Anne were the best of friends. Anne was loyal, and as you say, would not peach on another pirate. More than that, when they were finally captured, she and Mary fought back to back against the seaman boarding their vessel. Anne was not the captain, but was the lover of “Calico Jack” Rackam. We’ll read more of Captain Rackam another night, but suffice it to say he came to a bad end, and it was largely of his own doing. Anne said of him on the day of his execution that, ‘if he had fought like a man, he need not have been hanged like a dog.’”
--The Pirate's Secret Baby (March 2014)

I've been watching this latest Starz offering since it premiered, and I'm still not sold on it. I like the character of Long John Silver as a young (and two-legged) pirate, but the rest of it bothers me in the way much of made-for-cable TV bothers me. Lots of naked ladies, but remarkably shy about showing full-frontal males, violence against women (yes, there's violence against men too, but it's not non-consensual sex), but my biggest complaint so far is the portrayal of Anne Bonny.

What we've seen of Anne Bonny is a woman who hides behind her hair and a hat pulled down low over her face, stays in the shadows, whispers, doesn't lean forward. That's not the Anne Bonny history's given us, and I'm concerned Starz will offer us an Anne Bonny who's written to appeal to young males threatened by strong, independent women who didn't need a man by their side to make their mark as pirates.

I hope I'm wrong, but given what I've seen so far, I'm not optimistic.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Review--The Darwin Elevator

The Darwin Elevator (Dire Earth Cycle, #1)The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed it. Solid world-building, interesting SF premise, plenty of action and plot development to keep me turning pages. Character development was the weakest area, but things perked up at the end, enough to make me feel somewhat invested in individual characters.

I'm looking forward to the next installment in this trilogy.

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