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Archive for the month “December, 2013”

Happy New Year!

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One of 2013’s Biggest Blessings!

As the evening winds down, taking 2013 into history, I’ve been thinking about what a remarkable year it’s been for me–filled with wonderful things and not-so-wonderful things, but on balance, a much better year than I would ever have expected at this stage of my life.

In February, I was pronounced cured of cancer, a blessing that would have been enough to make it a good year all by itself, but then that was followed in fairly rapid succession by so many more good things: the birth of my first grandson, Kaelen; the publication of my first novel, Wake-Robin Ridge, the publication of my first book of poetry, Summer Magic; my daughter, her husband, and Kaelen moving from San Diego back to Florida, just a few hours’ drive from me…how can you complain about any of the less happy events when you’ve been given riches like that, all in one year? I’m sure not going to.

Instead, I’m going to lay out a few goals for 2014 and keep on keepin’ on. I will turn 70 in March, and I plan to keep writing, blogging, painting, working in my garden, spending time with everyone I love, including my granddaughter, Tabitha, and the aforementioned grandbaby, Kaelen, and making sure to laugh every day. I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

Happy New Year to each of you, and may 2014 fill your lives with joy and prosperity!  

Release Date For Skin Game by Jim Butcher!

skingameCOMING:  May 27, 2014

Finally! A release date for the long-awaited next book of The Dresden Files. I won’t say this is my favorite cover of the series, by any means…and what’s up with that gun, Harry?…but I don’t care. I cannot WAIT to get my hands on this book!! I am pre-ordering it already. (Yes, it’s available for pre-order on amazon now.) I was beginning to think Jim Butcher had gone off to write comic books…ahem…I mean graphic novels, of course…forever, so now that there is an actual date for this release, I’m both relieved and ecstatic–even though it’s still almost HALF A YEAR away!!! 😯

I don’t know about you other Dresden fans, but I will not rest until I know what’s up with Harry and Mab, the wicked faery queen. And even more than that, what’s up with Harry and ex-Sgt. Karrin Murphy? Don’t disappoint us, Jim Butcher! We fans can turn on you in an instant, you know. 😉

Let the countdown begin!

Wake-Robin Ridge On Sale!

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I just discovered amazon.com has the print version of my book, Wake-Robin Ridge, on sale for $10.17, a savings of $2.82 over the regular list price. If any of you guys were thinking Read more…

Humor At The Speed of Life by Ned Hickson

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An admittedly shameless plug for my cyber-friend, Ned Hickson’s, new book, Humor At The Speed of Life. I’ve been following Ned’s blog for about a year now, and it is one of the funniest I’ve ever read. I just ordered my copy of his book, and will be reviewing it here as as soon as it arrives, I read it, and I can stop laughing long enough to type a coherent review. (Yeah, I know, why should my review of Ned’s book be any more coherent than my others?)

In case any of you would like to check this out in the meantime, you can get it both on amazon.com, and from Porthole Publications. I know already that it’s going to be great! Stay tuned for my REAL review!

What Are You Reading?

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(My 8-year-old granddaughter, Tabitha, reading to
her cousin, my 8-month-old grandson, Kaelen.)

Just realized it’s Friday again! Where did this week go? Oh, yeah. It was Christmas! That explains it!  Don’t know if any of you have time for reading right now, but I thought I would ask. I was in the first 1/3 of Changeless from the Parasol Protectorate series when I realized it was Book TWO! Now I’m starting over on Soulless, the first one. A very amusing, steampunk/urban fantasy kind of series. Will review it when I’m done.

So what are YOU reading this week? Or are you “resting your eyes” until after the holidays? 

Watermelon Summer by Anna Hess

watermelonsummerMy Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I have been a big fan of Anna Hess and her almost “off the grid” lifestyle for a long time. I’ve followed her blog and chatted with her via email for at least a year or more, and I bought (and reviewed) her non-fiction book, The Weekend Homesteader. When I found out she was writing a Young Adult novel, Read more…

A Day Late, But Just As Sincere!

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Best Wishes for the Entire Holiday Season,
From Our House to Yours!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas Quote #10 – Author Unknown

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“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”

  ~Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby~

Christmas Quote #9 – Eric Sevareid

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“Christmas is a necessity.  There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.”
~Eric Sevareid~

Free Kindle Version of Green Anthology, Dec. 17-21, 2013

This would be a great Christmas gift, folks!

Silver Birch Press

ImageTo celebrate the Yuletide season, we’re offering a free Kindle version of the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology — available from Tuesday, Dec. 17th through Saturday, Dec. 21st at Amazon.com. (If you don’t have a Kindle device, you can still read the book — with free reading apps, available at this link.) If you are in the UK, try Amazon.co.uk.

Featuring the work of 72 writers from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Europe, and Africa, the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology includes poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, an author interview, memoirs, and poetic essays that touch on the theme of green in creative, fresh, and compelling ways.

We would appreciate any reblogs, tweets, emails, and facebook posts about this Kindle giveaway!

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A Word On Free Books

kindlevsbooksEver wonder why an author would willingly give away hundreds of copies of his or her hard work for free? (And trust me on this…writing IS hard work.) The answer is simple: word of mouth. The more people that have read a book, the more it gets talked about. And the more it gets talked about, the more it gets sold,  and then the author can afford to stay at home and write another book. This is why you see Read more…

Book Gorilla

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Whaddya Mean That Book Is FREE This Week?

It’s a little known fact that gorillas really hate to pay full price for anything, especially books. No, really. This is true. I swear. Honest. Okay, doubtful, at best. But if YOU hate to pay full price for books, and love finding FREE ones even more, why aren’t you subscribing to BookGorilla? There are several email services out there that will alert you to the best book bargains of the day, but BookGorilla is by far, my favorite. Takes me 5 minutes or less to scan through the day’s offerings and see if there is anything I’m interested in. Then I click on it, check the reviews on Amazon, and grab the ones I want. I have found tons of good stuff that way.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, just go to BookGorilla.com and sign up. You can select the genres that you enjoy, and then just sit back and watch the daily bargains roll in. And don’t worry. You can unsub at any time, so give it a go. Bet you’ll find some great deals. Have fun!

What Are You Reading?

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I’m afraid I won’t have time in the morning to get my Friday What Are You Reading post done, so I’m popping in here to do that right now. I get more good book ideas from this post each week, so I don’t like to be too busy to ask you guys: What are YOU reading?

I’m about halfway through a short novella, I guess it would be, by Eileen Wilks, called Originally Human. It ties in with her World of the Lupi series, but so far, all the characters are new ones. However, they are currently on their way to see a very familiar character from the Lupi books, Cullen Seaborne, so there is going to be some sort of crossover stuff going on. I’m enjoying this story very much, and will be reviewing it when I finish.

So…YOUR turn. What are you reading this week? As always, inquiring minds wanna know.

Christmas Quote #12 – Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. 

~Laura Ingalls Wilder~

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

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My Rating: 4-1/2 of 5 Stars

“On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast.” Of course, you know the husband and wife writing team of Ilona Andrews never settles for worlds where things are as they appear “on the outside,” Read more…

Christmas Quote #11 – Dave Barry

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In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank.  People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’  or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!’ 

~Dave Barry~
“Christmas Shopping:  A Survivor’s Guide”

Wake-Robin Ridge, romantic suspense novel by Marcia Meara

What a wonderful post from the good folks at Silver Birch Press! I’m so excited to have my book out in print as well as for Kindle! Thank you for the post, SBP! You guys rock!!!

Silver Birch Press

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Congratulations to Marcia Meara — whose poetry has appeared in three Silver Birch Press anthologies — on the recent release of her romantic suspense novel Wake-Robin Ridge, available in paperback and Kindle versions at Amazon.com. Marcia is an inspiration — and we’re looking forward to reading her novel over the holidays.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:  On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion. 

As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the…

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L. A. Sleepers, A Noir Novel In Installments by Dakota Donovan

Have I found a fun thing for you guys! Dakota Donovan, ghostwriter extraordinaire, is penning a noir novel about her many adventures as a Hollywood ghostwriter. Each day, there is a new bit added to the whole. It’s so much fun, and Dakota’s writing style is sharp and witty, with some great turns of phrase sprinkled throughout. Check it out!

To be reminded when each day’s installment is added, be sure to Follow the blog. Because each installment is only about a third of a chapter or so, it is quick and easy to keep up with Dakota’s trials and travails. To bring yourself up to date, start on the Home Page, at the bottom, and read the posts moving upward. Once you are caught up, you only need to read the new post, which appears at the top of the page. 

I’m really enjoying this book, and can’t wait to get farther into the mystery.  Hope some of you enjoy it as much as I do.

L. A. Sleepers, A Noir Novel In Installments 

Noir Erasure Poetry Anthology

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New Release

Silver Birch Press’s latest anthology is out! I’m very excited about this one, because it features something that was completely new to me (and maybe to some of you), erasure poetry. The trick with erasure poetry is to take a page from a book or other printed material, black out or otherwise obscure most of the text, and leave behind words that create a poem. It is not as easy as it sounds, believe me. Those darn words don’t cooperate, and many times, are not where you’d like them to be to make your poetry work. But it is SO much fun, and I find myself hunting down examples of this art form online, and being amazed at the beautiful and unique ways poets have found to obscure the unwanted words. There will be more posts on this subject matter later, because I’m fascinated with it, and want to share some links with you. But for now, I just want to say how much fun it was to create a poem for this collection. 

Silver Birch Press has done a wonderful job with the book, displaying the blacked out page on the left, so you can see the source, and the printed poem on the right, for easy reading. In this particular book, the idea was to create your poem from a source that would fall into the noir category, such as the writings of Raymond Chandler. The cover, by artist Guy Budziak, depicts actor William Conrad from the 1946 movie, The Killers. Check out his work at Film Noir Woodcuts.

The 122-page anthology features the work of 46 writers from around the world:  Jeffrey C. Alfier / Beth Ayer / Jenni B. Baker / David Barker / Kathy Burkett / Candace Butler / Freda Butler / Kim Cooper / Subhankar Das / Andrea Dickens / Barbara Eknoian / Chris Forhan / Laura Hartenberger / Paul Hawkins / Deborah Herman / Sandra Herman / Mathias Jansson / Jax NTP / Rosemarie Keenan / Wm. Todd King/ Joseph Lisowski / Renee Mallett / Adrian Manning/ Karen Margolis / Catfish McDaris / Marcia Meara / james w. moore / Sarah Nichols / Winston Plowes / David S. Pointer / D.A. Pratt / David Rachels / Jonne Rhodes / Van Roberts / Daniel Romo / Tere Sievers / Gerald So / Sherry Steiner / Caitlin Stern / Scott Stoller / Thomas R. Thomas / Mary Umans / Melanie Villines / Mercedes Webb-Pullman / Richard Wink / Joanie Hieger Fritz Zosike

Being such a lover of urban fantasy, I chose Simon R. Green’s book, Hell To Pay,  as my source material. The hero of his Nightside books is a trench coat-wearing private eye, and the writing has a definite gritty noir feeling to it–noir from the Twilight Zone. 

Hope some of you will check Noir Erasure Poetry Anthology out. I think you’ll be surprised at how much fun it is.

Noir Erasure Poetry Anthology

If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit.  If you are enjoying  my reviews on Bookin’ It, it’s a great way to let me know!  Thanks

 

Christmas Quote #10 – Washington Irving

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“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall,
the genial flame of charity in the heart. “


~Washington Irving

Christmas Quote #9 – Charles Dickens

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“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely….”

 ~Charles Dickens~

Christmas Quote #8 – Nursery Rhyme

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Christmas is coming,
The goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you haven’t got a penny,
A ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny,
Then God bless you! 

Christmas Quote #7 – Roy L. Smith

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“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”

  ~Roy L. Smith

Early Christmas Present For MEEEEE!

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Just got my proof for Wake-Robin Ridge in the mail today, and I must say, it was the most exciting thing to happen to me in a long, long time. I’m absolutely blown away by how gorgeous it looks! (Excuse the poor quality photo. An iPhone in low light will only do so much.) My cover designer, Nicki Forde, Read more…

Roll On, Christmas!

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The biggest Santa in my collection.
(The smallest is less than an inch high.)

My favorite holiday, ever! Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat! (Don’t ask me what that means in the grand scheme of things. Having never served goose for Christmas dinner…or any other dinner, for that matter…it’s irrelevant in my household. But still…that’s how the poem goes…with a few bits more, of course.)

Anyway, Christmas is coming, and I’m a happy camper. Even when it’s just Mark and I, I love Christmas with all its trimmings. And being the overly compulsive little elf I am, I have to have evidence of the holiday in every room in my house. That was all well and good when I was younger and more energetic. Now, it tends to leave me exhausted, and with an aching back from lifting, toting, climbing on chairs, and otherwise risking life and limb to get every garland hung, and every tree trimmed. (I have 2 full-sized ones and 3 more small ones that must go up!)

Whatever your holiday traditions are, I hope you are getting in the mood for good times with families and friends. I’ve got carols playing and mulled cider heating (thanks to my good friend, Nicki), and I’m totally excited about it all! If you haven’t started getting in the mood yet, I hope you soon do. It’s good for what ails ye!

(P. S. I’ve let Santa know just how good I’ve been this year. I’m expecting BIG things! Okay, maybe just big books, but that’s what makes my heart happy, anyway. 🙂 )

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