Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

Thor’s Day Joke #3

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Thor’s Day Joke #2

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Thor’s Day Joke #1

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Wednesday Author Interview: Meet Diane Gilbert Madsen

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You’ve GOT to Love This Cover, Right?

Today, Bookin’ It is happy to welcome mystery writer, Diane Gilbert Madsen. Diane, could you tell us a bit about how you became a writer? When did you decide that’s what you wanted to be, and what steps did you take to prepare for a writing career? 

DGM: Like so many English majors, I have the writing gene. Impossible to escape fate, even though I had a career in the business world for many years.  I’ve tried to combine the two in my Literati Mystery series.  Writing a novel is not a thing you do, rather it’s a thing that happens to you.  One day it becomes inevitable.  I prepare to write a new book by doing a lot of research, developing what I hope is a good plot and some interesting characters.  You find yourself in a writing career after you publish the first book, start getting fan mail, and write the second. 

BI: I’m finding a bit of that out for myself. Were you inspired by any particular authors, past or present, and what is it about their work that impresses you, or moves you? 

DGM: I write the Literati Mystery Series. The third in the series is The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper, obviously inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Doyle led a very interesting life and accomplished much more than just writing the Sherlock Holmes adventures.  He introduced downhill skiing into Switzerland; was one of the first to propose a tunnel connecting England and France; was one of the first to drive an automobile in England; helped change the judicial system by calling for an appeals process; and he was an energetic champion of divorce reform.  One question I always had was why he had never written anything about the Jack the Ripper murders – the most sensational case of the time.  This was the first Serial Killer case, and the press made it a worldwide sensation. It seemed odd that he never created a story in which his famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, caught the Ripper.   I began doing research, and found some intriguing facts and incorporated them into this new Literati Mystery. 

BI: Wow, I never knew any of that about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. How interesting, and I can see why you would wonder about Jack the Ripper. I have a feeling I know the answer, but may I ask what genres you read most often for pleasure…those books you gravitate toward the minute you walk into a bookstore? 

DGM: I love mystery stories. My husband, Tom, swears that I walk, talk, eat and sleep mysteries.  I’ve been that way all my life.  I devoured the mysteries on the shelves in my local library then went on to larger libraries and then to bookstores. I do read biographies and thrillers and adventure stories, too, but as they say – make mine mystery.  It was a thrill to finally see my books on those shelves.

I particularly like mysteries with interesting sleuths and settings and topics that provide opportunities to learn something out of the ordinary, such as mysteries set in Venice, or mysteries having to do with art forgery or history or counterfeiting or industrial espionage. If the author has done a good job of research and writing, the reader can have a great time learning something new without feeling as if it’s School 101. 

BI: I know what you mean. I feel that all the best books teach you something new, in addition to being entertaining. About your writing process—do you have a dedicated workspace, and are you consistent with the amount of time you spend writing each day? 

DGM: I write and do research in my office, which my family calls The Bat Cave. Sometimes when I’m in the middle of research for a project, it gets so messy that my husband Tom says he’s afraid to enter. Since I live in Southwest Florida, I often take a break for a swim in my pool and then go back to the computer.  Of course, sometimes I don’t make it back.  

BI: My personal Bat Cave slops over into the entire front half of the house, I’m afraid. But lucky for me, my husband tends to be oblivious to things like that, so I don’t catch too much flak from him. Do you use visual aids, like Inspiration Boards/Photos or maps of your book’s setting? What reference books or other material do you consult most frequently as you write? 

DGM: For The Conan Doyle Notes , I put a photo of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on my desk. I use biographies, histories, autobiographies and whatever else I can find including films about my subjects.  You never know when you start where your search will take you, and that’s what’s so much fun about research. For The Conan Doyle Notes,I used materials I’ve collected through my life, as I was interested in Doyle and the Ripper murders for many years before I started doing the research and writing.

For my second Literati Mystery, Hunting for Hemingway, I purchased a portable Corona #3 typewriter of the same vintage as the one Hemingway had in the story I was writing. It’s from the early ‘20’s and the carriage folds down to fit neatly into a leather case.  I used it for inspiration, and it was easy to picture the young Ernest Hemingway carrying his portable Corona #3 throughout Europe, writing his dispatches for the Toronto Star newspaper. 

BI: I like the research process, too, and there’s a surprising amount of it involved, even when you aren’t writing something with a basis in history, so I can only imagine how much you had to dig through. When you have an idea for a new book, do you sit down and start typing, or do you start with an outline, and figure out all the major plot points first? In other words, is your working style structured and organized, or more organic and free flowing? 

DGM: I always run the basic plot line through my husband Tom. He’s a great sounding board and often helps me flesh out details along the way.  I do a synopsis and then expand it to include major plot points.  I don’t do an elaborate outline as some writers do.  However, I always know the beginning and the end.  And I always know who my villain is.  That way, I try to be fair with my readers and give them sufficient clues throughout the book.  A study done on Agatha Christie’s work said she provided readers with a clue every eleven pages.   Once at a conference I attended, a fairly well known author said he didn’t know who the murderer was going to be in his new book until the last chapter.  I wondered whether he had to go back into the book and insert the clues.  

BI: You sound very organized, in the best way, and I can’t imagine not knowing who your villain is until the end. I agree with you, at the end of the book, surprised readers should be able to go back through and see the trail of breadcrumbs you’ve left behind. Otherwise, they have no real shot at figuring out whodunit, and isn’t that why most readers love a good mystery? 

Now back to your preferences—eBooks or print? Why? 

DGM: I prefer print for research and for pleasure. But I also use my Kindle.  The Kindle has attracted a lot of new, young readers who otherwise might never enter a bookstore or a library, and this is a good thing.   It also helps folks who can’t read as well as they once did with enlarged print capabilities.  So I like to think of the e-book as an added bonus.  

BI: Ah, a nice, balanced answer to that question. It always amazes me that many writers don’t see the benefits of using both. (And the ability to set font sizes is a real plus to me.) Now it’s time to learn about the books have you published, and where we can buy them. 

DGM: My Literati Mystery Series features DD McGil, Insurance Investigator, probing the true mysteries and secrets that famous authors have in their past. 

As I was taking my Masters in 17th century English literature, what I found fascinating was reading a work and then speculating on how the story might have continued after the final page. I extended this to the lives of authors, many of who led adventuresome lives away from their writing, with many incidents that led to ‘what if’ speculation.  I decided to combine my conjectures about incidents in authors’ lives with my other passion – mysteries – and create the Literati Mystery Series.  

The series gives readers an intriguing blend of mystery and history. If you think you know all there is to know about Robert Burns or Ernest Hemingway, or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, you’ll discover some interesting – and deadly – mysteries afoot. All the Literati Mysteries are set in today’s world of academic and corporate treachery.   There are three books in the series. All my books are available on my website: Diane Gilbert Madsen

The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper questions whether the identity of one of the greatest criminals of all time, Jack the Ripper, was deduced by Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Conan Doyle frequently collaborated with Scotland Yard on real-life cases. What did Conan Doyle know and why he was silent about this case?   Available atAmazon  or at MX Publishing.

Hunting for Hemingway is based on a real incident in Ernest Hemingway’s life when his first wife, Hadley Richardson, packed all his work in progress manuscripts into a suitcase that was stolen at the Gare de Lyon railroad station as she boarded a train to meet Hemingway in Switzerland. Although he offered a reward, Hemingway never got any of his work back. What really happened to it?  A Chicago academic claims he has recovered the manuscripts, they are worth millions if they are genuine.  Insurance Investigator DD McGil, aided by her antiquarian book dealer friend Tom Joyce, are hired to authenticate them or prove them fake.  When the academic is murdered and the manuscripts stolen,  their quest puts them on the trail of a killer, and the hunter becomes the hunted.  Available here on Amazon.

In A Cadger’s Curse, the past meets the present based on an exciting incident in Robert Burns’ life in the 1700’s when an artifact worth millions is uncovered in Chicago in the 21st Century. Is it real or is it faked? And who would kill for it? And how is it all connected to the corporate problems at HI-Data and to DD McGil’s dead fiancé? Available here on Amazon.

BI: These all sound really intriguing, and appropriately, mysterious. Are you currently working on a new book? When do you expect it to be available? 

DGM: I’m currently working on several projects. One is a screenplay about Ernest Hemingway that my agent will be submitting to a Hollywood producer.  I’m also working on the 4th Literati Mystery entitled, The Cardboard Palace.  Additionally, I’m writing a non-fiction book about the Sherlock Holmes stories entitled, Cracking the Code of the Canon: How Sherlock Holmes Made his Decisions. In this book, I categorize all the Holmes stories.   I’m also writing several articles, including one on the Holmes story entitled The Devil’s Foot,and one on The Priory School.  Another article of mine on the Holmes story, The Cardboard Box, will be published in the Fall issue of The Baker Street Journal. 

BI: Wow, Diane! You are one busy writer! I’m very impressed, since cobbling together one romantic suspense novel at a time pretty much eats up my whole life. You have inspired me. Last question. What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst? 

DGM: The best things for me are doing all the research for a new book and also meeting mystery fans. I love the whole research process.  You never know what you will uncover, and I’m always excited about the various twists and turns where different avenues of research take me.  Meeting fans of my work and getting fan mail is always a thrill.  Mystery fans are delightful – so intelligent and friendly – and they always are curious about the writing process, so it’s fun to share “how we do it.” 

DGM: The worst thing about being a writer is the long hours I spend in my “Bat Cave.” Hemingway said, “Writing is easy. Just sit down at the typewriter and sweat blood.”  That’s what all writers do, but it’s a game of chance very few win big.   John Steinbeck said it best, “The profession of book-writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.” 

Thanks so much for interviewing me, Marcia. 

BI: Thank you very much for taking time from such a busy schedule to talk to us today. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about you and your books, and I can’t wait to read them. I know many of my regulars here are going to want to check them out, as well. Thanks, again. 

DGM

Diane Gilbert Madsen with the Infamous Corona

Diane Gilbert Madsen is the author of the award winning DD McGil Literati Mystery Series including  A Cadger’s Curse, Hunting for Hemingway, and her newest, The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper.

Formerly, Diane was the Director of Economic Development for the State of Illinois where she oversaw the Tourism and the Illinois Film Office when The Blues Brothers and The Hunter were being made.  She later ran her own consulting firm and is listed in The World Who’s Who of Women and Who’s Who in Finance & Industry.

 She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the International Association of Crime Writers, the Chicago Writers Association, and the Florida Writers Association. Diane was an invited speaker at the International Hemingway Colloquium held in Havana Cuba last year.

She has published articles in the PBS Expressions Magazine; The Hemingway Review; Mystery Scene Magazine; Mystery Readers Journal; Sisters in Crime Newsletter, The Write City Magazine, and the forthcoming fall issue of The Baker Street Journal.

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Angel, In Her Cat Bed

Diane lives with her husband Tom and Angel, their Japanese Chin, at Twin Ponds, a 5-acre wildlife sanctuary on Cape Haze in Englewood, Florida.

 Find Diane’s Books

 The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper

Hunting for Hemingway

A Cadger’s Curse

Find Diane on Social Media here:

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

World Blog Hop

Marcia:

23 Thorns is doing a Blog Hop. Read about it here…trust me, it’s funny. And oh, yeah. I’m proud to say he’s nominated me to take part, too, which I will do very soon. Maybe tomorrow.

Originally posted on 23thorns:

I am not much of a joiner. Or at least I never have been. I have always clung to the vague hope that this would make me seem windswept and interesting, like Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, but the sad truth of the matter is that I am bulky and blond and blue-eyed, and started developing smile-lines around my eyes when I was about seventeen. The bulky, blue-eyed, smile-lined people of the world might carry many things around with them, but an air of mystery isn’t one of them.

Which is how this half of the band "Modern Talking" was able to get away with murdering 37 prostitutes and a dental hygienist in the 80's.

Which is how this half of the band “Modern Talking” was able to get away with murdering 37 prostitutes and a dental hygienist in the 80’s.

I’ve been a bad blogger. Since I started doing this, a couple of people have done me the honour of nominating me for the various awards that seem to float around on WordPress. I have spurned…

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Monday Giveaway: Jim Butcher and Devon Monk

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

It’s Moon’s Day, once again, and that means time to give away a book or two. Finished up giving away all the Odd Thomas books to date last week, so this week, I’m moving on to other recent releases you might be interested in winning. Read more…

Off For A Chickie Day!

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Hold down the fort, guys! I’m off to spend a wild and crazy day with my favorite Chickie, my wonderful cover designer and very good friend, Nicki Forde. Nicki is an amazingly talented graphic designer who always “gets” my vision, and then improves on it. She’s also the best friend anyone could ask for. See ya tonight!

Thor’s Day Joke on Friday, #3

TEAMWORK

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Thor’s Day Joke on Friday, #2

How cute are these?

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Thor’s Day Joke on Friday, #1

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Love This Quote!

 

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“All of you out there who believe in telepathy, raise your hand. All right.
Now, everyone who believes in telekinesis: raise my hand.” —Dennis Owens

Paranormal vs Supernatural

 

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Ever wonder what the difference is? I did some research, and quickly discovered there were lots of opinions out there, most dancing around the same basic distinctions (though some were quite different). I found the one that made the most sense to me, and suspect that’s what I’ll be using as my guidelines when I’m reviewing books in the future. The entire article at Knowledge Nuts can be found here. For purposes of this post, I’m going with their opening lines. Works for me.

“The terms “paranormal” and “supernatural” are often tossed around to mean the same thing—something we don’t understand. They’re actually two separate terms, though. “Paranormal” refers to something that’s not understood by current scientific knowledge; there’s the potential that something paranormal will someday be explained scientifically, and there’s a likelihood there’s a good, natural explanation for it. “Supernatural” refers to a phenomenon that is beyond our capability to understand, now and simply forever, because it just doesn’t operate under our rules.”

What Are You Reading?

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It’s Friday again, and time for What Are You Reading once again. I know I’ve been remiss for a couple of weeks, but you’ll have to excuse me. The last six weeks or so have been totally out of control. Travel, illness, family drama, and other pressing issues got in my way, but…to paraphrase a certain spooky someone…I’m baaaaaaaa-aaaaaack. More or less. :) So on to the burning question of the day.

I’m re-reading Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, Book 1 in what I think is a trilogy. I have Book 2 waiting for me, but I realized I really wanted to revisit Book 1 before starting it. This is a complicated tale, and I had forgotten some bits and pieces. I also had forgotten how completely beautiful and compelling Chapter 1 of The Raven Boys is. Maggie Stiefvater is an enormously gifted writer. Not just capable of telling great stories, but of using words, phrases, and imagery like no other. She’s who I want to be when I grow up. Her words pull me into her books like no one else’s, and they just don’t let go. I can’t imagine anyone reading the graveyard scene in Chapter 1 and not being caught hook, line, and sinker. I’ve already reviewed this book here and as soon as I finish re-reading it, and then reading the second book, The Dream Thieves, I’ll be reviewing that one, as well.

Now it’s your turn. What are you reading? As always, inquiring minds want to know, so don’t be shy. Let me hear from you.

The Raven Boys

The Dream Thieves

Never Forget

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Wednesday Author Interview: Meet Yvonne Ventresca

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LOVE this Cover!
Can’t Wait to Read The Book

Today, Bookin’ It would like to welcome Children’s/Young Adult Writer, Yvonne Ventresca. Yvonne, it’s great to have you here with us today. Could you tell us a bit about how you became a writer? When did you decide that’s what you wanted to be, and what steps did you take to prepare for a writing career? 

YV: I was always an avid reader and wanting to write seemed like a natural extension of that. The idea solidified as a teen and I took my first creative writing classes in college. Being exposed to the critique process there helped prepare me for the realities of writing later on. I majored in computer science and English, but I detoured into a corporate job and didn’t start writing seriously until several years later. 

BI: Sounds like you had a great background, though. Were you inspired by any particular authors, past or present, and what is it about their work that impresses you, or moves you? 

YV: Growing up, I loved Nancy Drew mysteries, then later, Agatha Christie novels. Reading Stephen King’s The Stand and several of his other books was another influence. King is a master at writing about fear. He also wrote one of my favorite craft books, On Writing. The idea that he was not immediately successful but kept creating was also a source of inspiration. 

BI: I loved Nancy Drew, too, along with Trixie Belden, and the Hardy Boys. I suspect those children’s mysteries engendered a love of reading and writing in many, many kids. What genres do you read most often for pleasure…those books you gravitate toward the minute you walk into a bookstore? 

YV: I love contemporary young adult stories, particularly thrillers and mysteries. 

BI: Seems like there are so many more choices in YA literature today than there used to be. I like a lot of it, myself. Do you have a dedicated workspace, and are you consistent with the amount of time you spend writing each day? 

YV: Until we adopted our second dog, I worked in our home office. But having a puppy changed things because we kept her limited to the kitchen and a few other rooms in the beginning.

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Photo of Said Puppies

I started using a laptop in the kitchen to be near her and the habit stuck.

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New, Doggy-induced Work Area

Regarding consistency, this summer I discovered the #AugWritingChallenge, which inspired me to write 500 new words or edit for an hour each day for the whole month. Now I’m continuing with the #SeptWritingChallenge. There’s something about publicly committing to a challenge and then tweeting daily results that really increases my productivity. (For more information, visit www.writingchallenge.org). 

BI: I’ve yet to work up my nerve to do a challenge, so I’m really impressed that you have. Good luck with those, and thanks for sharing the photos. So…a schnauzer and a Westie? They’re really very cute! And I must say, your workspace is MUCH neater than mine!

Yvonne, do you use visual aids, like Inspiration Boards/Photos or maps of your book’s setting? What reference books or other material do you consult most frequently as you write? 

YV: I have a Pinterest board for Pandemic here  and I started one for my new novel but am keeping it “secret” until I get further along in the process. In terms of reference books, for Pandemic I read lots of nonfiction about contagious diseases, past and present, because I wanted my fictional disease to be as realistic as possible. I had a morbid stack of books on my nightstand for a while! 

BI: I can identify with that. My nightstand was covered with books about serial killers when I was writing my last novel. And you know I’m going straight over to check out your Pinterest board, too. When you have an idea for a new book, do you sit down and start typing, or do you start with an outline, and figure out all the major plot points first? In other words, is your working style structured and organized, or more organic and free flowing? 

YV: I use a hybrid approach. When I start, I like to have a sense of where the story is going and how it might generally end. After I start writing, at some point I go back and outline what I’ve created so far. That allows me to see the project as a whole and helps me fix any issues. 

BI: Do you prefer reading eBooks, or print? Why? 

YV: Ebooks are convenient for travelling, but I have fond memories of visiting the library as a kid and still love print books the best. 

BI: It seems most writers do. Time to learn about the books have you published, and where we can buy them, Yvonne. Fill us in, if you would. 

YV: My debut novel, Pandemic, was published in May by Sky Pony Press. Pandemic is a contemporary, realistic young adult novel about an emotionally traumatized teenager struggling to survive a bird flu pandemic. Prior to Pandemic, I wrote two nonfiction books for teens published by Lucent Books: Avril Lavigne (a biography of the singer) and Publishing (about careers in the field). Pandemic is now available through independent bookstores, Amazon, B&N, etc. (See links below interview).

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BI: Thanks for that. Are you currently working on a new book? When do you expect it to be available? 

YV: I’m currently writing a YA psychological thriller about a girl who fears she is either being haunted or going insane. It’s still in the early stages… 

BI: That sounds really interesting, too. Can’t wait to add it to my list. Finally, can you tell us what you think is the best thing about being a writer? The worst? 

YV: The best thing about being a fiction writer is the satisfaction of creating a complete story from your imagination. The worst thing is that no two novels are the same, so writing a second book isn’t necessarily the same process as the first. But the challenges and learning keep it interesting, so maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.

Thank you so much, Yvonnne! I really enjoyed learning more about you and your work today, and I hope you’ll keep us posted about your new projects. 

Yvonne Ventresca Author Photo

Yvonne Ventresca

Before becoming a children’s writer, Yvonne Ventresca wrote computer programs and taught others how to use technology. Now she happily spends her days writing stories instead of code and sharing technology tips with other writers. Yvonne’s the author of the young adult novel Pandemic, which debuted in May from Sky Pony Press. She lives in NJ with her family and her two dogs. You can visit her website at YvonneVentresca.com

You can buy Pandemic here:

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Powells

Books A Million

Book Depository

AmazonUK

Chapters

Where you can find Yvonne: 

Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

 

Update on Release of The Collector’s Treasure

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Just wanted to let you guys know that shortly after Nick Taylor and Alisha Payne’s book, The Collector’s Treasure, went live on amazon, some sort of technical glitch popped up making it impossible to download the ebook or order the paperback. They are in contact with amazon and the paperback is now available again, but the eBook download is still not working. If you were hoping to read this (like me!), hang in there. Surely amazon will sort it out soon, and all will be well. (Good luck, Nick & Alisha!)

Interview with author Marcia Meara

Marcia:

Stella Tarakson interviewed me for her blog, and it was so much fun, I had to share it with you.

Originally posted on Stella Tarakson:

I’ve come across some amazing people through the blogsphere. Even though we’ve never met, I feel like I’m getting to know Marcia Meara of the Bookin’ It blog, an inspirational woman of drive, wit and wisdom. She wrote her first novel at the age of 69, and her message to the world is, ‘It’s never too late to pursue your dream’. She kindly agreed to be interviewed for my blog.

Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara

1. Have you always wanted to write?
Short answer, yes. I’ve wanted to write all my life, from the age of five when I first started scribbling poems on yellow legal tablets. (Yes, they had them clear back then.) I went all the way through high school, planning to be a writer, and constantly scribbling poetry here and there. But times were different, and my parents thought pursuing a writing career was a waste of time, and going…

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Monday Giveaway! Jim Butcher, Dean Koontz, and Me!

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The last two weeks have been upside down around here, but I’m getting back on track this week, starting with my Monday Giveaway feature. I’m still working on giving out the entire set of Dresden Files books, and ditto the Odd Thomas books. Plus this week, I’m offering a signed copy of Swamp Ghosts, as well, just to say I’m sorry I missed the last two Mondays. So, you know the drill…be the first person to email me at mmeara@cfl.rr.com after 2:00PM Eastern Standard Time, and request the one you want, and it’s yours. Zip-zap. That’s all there is to it. Just be the first to ask for it, and you win. Read more…

New Release Alert!

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My friends Nick Taylor and Alisha Payne have just released their newest book, The Collector’s Treasure, synopsis below. Some of you may remember Nick and Alisha were featured in a Wednesday Author’s Interview a few weeks back, and I asked them to keep us posted on their upcoming releases. Hope you’ll check this out. I think the cover is great, and the book sounds like fun, and it can be read as a stand-alone, too. I’m adding it to my list! (Nick says to advise you it’s an adults only novel.) Read more…

A Word About Negative Reviews

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Sometime back, before I tried my hand at writing myself, actually, I decided I was done writing negative reviews. I’d only written a few of them, because frankly, they aren’t fun to write, and I realized, I was only writing them when I was angry about something in the book I was reviewing. Don’t know about YOU, but I think writing (or doing anything else) when you are angry, is usually a bad idea. Since I’m not going to lie about a book I didn’t enjoy, I made up my mind only to review books that I would rate at 3 stars or higher. And after I started writing books myself, I knew I absolutely couldn’t tear down anyone else’s work again. So, I don’t.

I’m not saying this is what everyone should do. It’s just my personal choice to review books I enjoy, and share them with others. And, quite honestly, there are many, many people out there willing to jump all over someone’s work and call it garbage, so my voice won’t be missed in that area. But I still have opinions about negative reviews. I think they should help a writer understand where he or she has gone astray, and be filled with constructive criticism, rather than insults thrown out there by a reviewer having fun ruining someone else’s day. One approach  fosters learning and growth, and the other is…in a word…mean-spirited. (Okay, so it’s a hyphenated word. You get the idea.)

I just wanted to make my position clear on this, because I have mentioned here and there that I don’t do negative reviews any more, and I wanted to be sure you guys all understand that I do not mean I’m lying when I post a positive one. I’m just choosing to ONLY review books I enjoy. It’s a choice that lets me feel good, and hopefully makes someone else feel good, too.

Thanks for listening. As you were, folks! And happy reading!

Friday Night Bonus Joke #3

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Friday Night Bonus Joke #2

And This Little Piggy Had None!

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Friday Night Bonus Joke #1

They Don’t Stay Kids For Long, Do They?

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Bookshelf Tag!

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I’ve been invited to take part in two different “events” this week, and am starting with this one. (Look for the Blog Hop tomorrow.) Author Stella Tarakson has tagged me, so I’m invited to take part in Bookshelf Tag. Thanks for thinking of me, Stella. I always enjoy these things, for some reason. Here are the rules for Bookshelf Tag:

“Answer the following questions about books on your bookshelf and then tag five other bloggers. You can answer the questions any way you want, whether it’s on your blog, in a video, or a combination of the two. Then remember to let whoever tagged you know when your post is up so they can read it.”

1. Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry? Read more…

Wednesday Author Interview: Meet Stella Tarakson

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It’s Author Interview day again, and today, I’d like to welcome Children’s Author, Stella Tarakson to Bookin’ It. Stella comes from a land down under, and it’s great to be able to connect with her today, via the marvels of technology. 

BI: Tell us a bit about how you became a writer. When did you decide that’s what you wanted to be, and what steps did you take to prepare for a writing career? 

ST: I’ve always wanted to write, but I approached it the long way round. I went to Law School, never dreaming I’d one day actually be able to pursue my dream. My wonderful husband encouraged me to ‘give up my day job’ and go for it. So far it’s worked. I’ve had about 35 non-fiction books published, but now I’m focusing on fiction, something I’ve wanted to do for ages.  Read more…

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Ingrid's Notes

... musings on creative writing and craft ...

Classy Cat Books

Words: They Mean Things

So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Book Junkiez

The place where book addicts go for book reviews & book recommendations of epic proportions!

That's So Jacob

random thoughts 'n things from the life of jacob

Snakebuddies' Blog

Adventures of the serpentine kind...

Long Awkward Pause

A Humor Mag Of Sorts...

kyrosmagica

Blogging about writing and books. I am a debut author

Mel's Green Garden

Sharing a passion for gardening

Paula Reed Nancarrow

On Writing, Creative Practice, and Performance

Elise Abram

Writing in pursuit of inner bliss.

A Woman's Wisdom

A place to discover fabulous storytellers plus book reviews, life and humour.

Callum McLaughlin

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

Touch Of Cinnamon

There are words that kiss us as if they have a mouth

Blog Woman!!! - Life Uncategorized

Been there, done that, & have seen too much. Now I write about it. Hello, my name is Robyn, mother, Metis, & paid communicator. This is my collection of opinions, stories, and the occasional rise to a challenge.

greenlightlady

As a still lake reflects creation, so may our hearts reflect the Creator's glory ~ Wendy Macdonald

The Author Who Supports

Connect, Inspire, Dream, Create

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Max Miller Poetry

Young Creative Writer

qui est in literis

wandering words

childoftheisland

Blog of writer Bia Helvetti

wherewolvestheblog

Wherewolves the Novel and Film

hollywood ghostwriter confessions

Crazy true stories and true crazy stories -- now in a comic crime novel: L.A. DREAMERS by Dakota Donovan

Alligator Princess of "America's Nile"

One Woman's Adventure On the St. Johns River of Florida

Wild life.

A light-hearted look at South Africa's wildlife.

author linda rue quinn

Writing is cheaper than therapy

thepracticalhistorian

Your guide to practically true history.

Writers In The Storm

A Blog On Writing

Poesy plus Polemics

Words of Wonder, Worry and Whimsy

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