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Showing posts from February, 2016

Review--A Talent For Trickery (The Thief-takers, #1)

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A Talent for Trickery by Alissa Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very enjoyable, new-to-me author. I liked the characters and will definitely buy more in this series about a family trying to overcome their larcenous past. The intricacy of the plotting kept me turning pages, and the secondary characters brought the story to life.


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Why am I doing this again?

I left 73F Florida for 19F Boston. The skin on my face (the only exposed part of my anatomy) is whining, "Why do you hate me?" Ah well, it's worth slathering on the moisturizer to spend time with quality people at #Boskone, New England's premier science fiction and fantasy convention. 
It's sunny and tomorrow is supposed to get all the way up to 43F so it could be worse. If I can tough out July in North Central Florida, I can handle a few days of February in Boston at #Boskone53.

Off to Boskone!

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I'm heading up to Boston, where the weather is supposed to be above freezing most of the weekend (thank heavens!) That picture was taken in front of our hotel in 2015. Not much could convince me to travel from Florida to Massachusetts in February, but #Boskone is worth it. It's the longest running science fiction and fantasy convention in New England, a weekend filled with books, film, art, music, gaming and bid parties. You can go to www.boskone.org  to register, and follow the news at their Twitter feed or Facebook page. I'm confident if we get snowed in, again, there will be enough party supplies that we won't have to draw lots to see who goes in the cook-pot. Actually, the Westin Waterfront has done an excellent job in past years coping with the occasional blizzard and a hotel full of science fiction fans. Kudos to them, and thank you for keeping the bar and restaurants well stocked.

Here's my schedule. The (M) means I'm moderating that panel, and I look fo…

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day!

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I did post a few items yesterday in honor of the day, but I didn't post any snippets about true love from my own novels. Here's one of my favorite romantic sentiments: 
"And if they didn’t live happily ever after for every single day of the rest of their lives, it must be acknowledged that at least she never shot him while he was sleeping."--The Bride and the Buccaneer
(winner, FCRW Beacon Award)


Review--Black Wolves (Black Wolves, #1)

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Black Wolves by Kate Elliott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An excellent tale of cunning, court intrigue, warriors and love, using an "Asian" rather than "European" setting. Many lives are interwoven as disgraced Captain Kellas of the king's own Black Wolves begins to explore a mystery over 20 years in the making.

I loved the characters, especially the elderly women and men who demonstrated once again that age, patience and cunning will beat youth and dexterity. It was enjoyable at a very personal level.

What wasn't enjoyable at a personal level, and what kept me from giving it five stars, was the use of anti-Semitic stereotypes and tropes in the portrayal of the Ri Amarah. I believe it was the intention of the author to show what can happen to an outcast people who worship and live differently than the majority population, but the focus on their lust for wealth and talent at trade, their lives in walled enclaves in the cities (ghettos), their being under the king&#…

More news from Florida--you can't make this stuff up.

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"Assume everyone you meet is armed and itching for a fight. If you see an orange seller on the street in St. Augustine, she’s likely carrying a springback blade in her sleeve. Watch their hands! A shotgun’s easy to spot, but a bowie knife inside a pants leg could be a fatal surprise.”
“It sounds like a lawless place.”
“You have no idea.
--[WIP] WHAT THE PARROT SAW

In addition to the shotguns and springback blades, watch out for the other Florida WMDs: FLORIDA MAN HURLS GATOR THROUGH DRIVE-THROUGH WINDOW.



Finding Your Writing Niche

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I enjoyed the monthly Writers Alliance of Gainesville meeting where the guest speaker, UF professor and author Dr. Kevin McCarthy, encouraged us to find our niche. I was leaning toward my next project being an American privateer/War of 1812 tale, and I'm going to delve further into this. In the meantime, I'm still editing What the Parrot Saw. As usual, it's a roller-coaster of moments ranging from "Ouch, I can't believe I wrote that!" to "Hmmm....not bad."

More on this as it develops. Also, my books are still available through Amber Quill Press until the end of March, at which time they'll be closing their doors forever. If you're interested in all the stories leading up to What the Parrot Saw, I encourage you to fill your ereader and bookshelves now.