Bookin' It

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Archive for the month “March, 2014”

Blue

What a lovely poem my friend & editor, Caitlin Stern, has written. Just a beautiful thought!

caitlinsternwrites

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Blue

A tiny spot of blue

fringed with green

awash in a concrete river

clinging to a pocket of soil

tucked in a curve

dwarfed by the metal monsters

that roll on black tires

and send leaves and petals rippling

in a wash of exhaust fumes

but still

color in the gray scale world

of asphalt and concrete

blooming

and nothing else matters

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Astigmatism by Amy Lowell

For all those, including myself, who might be tempted to think their view of what’s right or beautiful is the only one.

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Astigmatism

by Amy Lowell
To Ezra Pound: with Much Friendship and Admiration and Some Differences of Opinion

The Poet took his walking-stick
Of fine and polished ebony.
Set in the close-grained wood
Were quaint devices;
Patterns in ambers,
And in the clouded green of jades.
The top was smooth, yellow ivory,
And a tassel of tarnished gold
Hung by a faded cord from a hole
Pierced in the hard wood,
Circled with silver.
For years the Poet had wrought upon this cane.
His wealth had gone to enrich it,
His experiences to pattern it,
His labour to fashion and burnish it.
To him it was perfect,
A work of art and a weapon,
A delight and a defence.
The Poet took his walking-stick
And walked abroad.

Peace be with you, Brother.

The Poet came to a meadow.
Sifted through the grass were daisies,
Open-mouthed, wondering, they gazed at the sun.
The Poet struck them with his cane.
The little heads flew off, and they lay
Dying, open-mouthed and wondering,
On the hard ground.
“They are useless. They are not roses,” said the Poet.

Peace be with you, Brother. Go your ways.

The Poet came to a stream.
Purple and blue flags waded in the water;
In among them hopped the speckled frogs;
The wind slid through them, rustling.
The Poet lifted his cane,
And the iris heads fell into the water.
They floated away, torn and drowning.
“Wretched flowers,” said the Poet,
“They are not roses.”

Peace be with you, Brother. It is your affair.

The Poet came to a garden.
Dahlias ripened against a wall,
Gillyflowers stood up bravely for all their short stature,
And a trumpet-vine covered an arbour
With the red and gold of its blossoms.
Red and gold like the brass notes of trumpets.
The Poet knocked off the stiff heads of the dahlias,
And his cane lopped the gillyflowers at the ground.
Then he severed the trumpet-blossoms from their stems.
Red and gold they lay scattered,
Red and gold, as on a battle field;
Red and gold, prone and dying.
“They were not roses,” said the Poet.

Peace be with you, Brother.
But behind you is destruction, and waste places.

The Poet came home at evening,
And in the candle-light
He wiped and polished his cane.
The orange candle flame leaped in the yellow ambers,
And made the jades undulate like green pools.
It played along the bright ebony,
And glowed in the top of cream-coloured ivory.
But these things were dead,
Only the candle-light made them seem to move.
“It is a pity there were no roses,” said the Poet.

Peace be with you, Brother. You have chosen your part.

The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

undeadpool

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Okay, before I get too far into this brief (for me) review, I just want to get one thing out of the way, right up front. As much as I enjoy Kim Harrison’s series, and as fun as this image of Rachel Morgan is, the man in the background doesn’t even resemble the way that Harrison has described Rachel’s main Elf, Trent Kalamack, as looking. The most obvious discrepancy would be the lack of almost white, floating, fly-away, “dandelion fluff” hair. And for me, not much else looks like the Elf described through all of these books, either. Now everyone has their own take on how he should look, I’m sure. But without that hair, the fair skin, and the pointy ears, he just doesn’t look very…Elvish. Therefore, I have decided he must be…wait for it…an Elvish Impersonator. (Oh, hahaha. Sometimes I crack myself up.)

Seriously, the cover does bother me, but not enough to stop me from enjoying the book. I’m keeping this review on the short side, because I can’t think of a way to say what I want to without spoilers. What I will say is that the plot turned into something I wasn’t expecting at all, though given the Ins and Outs of The Hollows, the Ever-After, and the ley lines, plus demons, weres, vamps (both living and dead), elves, pixies, fairies, and even gargoyles, I guess I should have been ready for just about anything. But she still managed to surprise me.

In my opinion, Kim Harrison’s forte is in that same complex world-building I mentioned above. The history of elves and demons, the complicated rules they all live by, the way Rachel morphed from an “ordinary” witch into something quite extraordinary, able to converse with demons and goddesses–all of these things make for very entertaining reading. As for the one burning issue that has kept me coming back over and over again–the slowly evolving relationship between Rachel and Trent–well, all I can say is this book left me smiling…from ear to ear. 

If you’ve followed this series from the beginning, and you haven’t read The Undead Pool, yet, what are you waiting for. Get it! And get ready for the next book, which I believe is going to wrap up the series. (If I’m wrong on that, feel free to jump in here and let me know, anyone.) It’s been a long and wildly imaginative ride. The books haven’t all been perfect, and there are things (and characters) I don’t like very much, even though I’m supposed to. But overall, I’m really glad I picked up Dead Witch Walking way back when. If you love Urban Fantasy, I definitely recommend it to you.

The Undead Pool

Free Kindle Version of Green Anthology through 3/18/14

I am very pleased to have a poem in this Silver Birch Press anthology, along with so many truly talented writers and poets. Check it out! Still FREE through tomorrow! Free is a GOOD THING!

Silver Birch Press

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To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we’re offering a free Kindle version of the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology – available through Tuesday, March 18th 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. The free offer also appears on all the international Amazon sites.

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!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Spring Is Here For Sure!

What a glorious day it is today. You can tell by the flowers in my header, I’ve been in the yard for several hours. I picked up two hanging baskets and they inspired me to get up from this computer and get out in my garden. How could I resist, with colors like those? Did you ever see anything more cheerful in your life? 🙂 I put a basket at each end of my back porch, and I can see them from the patio, as well.

I missed What Are You Reading Friday, yesterday, so I thought I’d take a break from planting my coleus, and touch base with you guys for a change. (MUST get back to my blogging again. I really miss it!) I’m a bit over halfway through Kim Harrison’s latest, The Undead Pool, and loving it, so far. Although, I must say, Harrison is toying with our emotions in this one. At least those of us who have been fan of Trent since the beginning of the series. She’d better deliver before this book is done, or I just might start to lose patience, here. It’s definitely time for the relationship between Rachel and everyone’s favorite elf, “Cookie Bits,” as Jenks the pixie calls him, to get it on, for Pete’s sake. I’ll be reviewing the book as soon as I finish, which takes a lot longer lately. (Writing has a way of consuming every minute of my days, any more.)

So, your turn. What are you reading this weekend? Inquiring minds, and all of that…??

Top Ten Tuesday: The 10 Commandments of Detective Fiction

I love these Ten Commandments for Detective Fiction. They all make sense to me.

ByDLFernandez

Arthur Conan Doyle Español: Arthur Conan Doyle... Arthur Conan Doyle and his big, beautiful moustache. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I’ve been on something of a mystery kick these days. In preparation for reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s The Hound of the Baskervilles, I came across a list written by a Catholic priest who happened to also be a writer of detective fiction.

Ronald Knox, the priest, was a mystery writer in the early part of the 20th century who belonged to the Detection Club, a society peopled by such legendary mystery writers Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, G. K. Chesterson, and E. C. Bentley. This priest fittingly entitled his list of musts for mystery writing The 10 Commandments of Detective Fiction. Here they are, with my commentary.

1.) The criminal must be someone mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the readers…

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Humor at the Speed of Life by Ned Hickson

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars 

I’ve been following Ned Hickson’s wonderful blog for quite a while now, and if you don’t, you really should. It is one of the funniest blogs out there, if you ask me.  Okay, you didn’t ask me, but I’m volunteering this information, free of charge. Ned Hickson is a funny man. Guess that’s why he also writes a humor column for the Siuslaw News, an Oregon newspaper. If you don’t believe me when I tell you how funny his blog is, check it out for yourself. Or better yet, check out both his blog and his new book, Humor at the Speed of Life, a collection of some of his funniest work.

I love this book! I’ve practically worn it out, reading and reading my favorite columns. I’ve chased my husband around the house and into the garage, reading aloud to him. By the way, he does not think this is funny, Ned Hickson, and says if I don’t stop harassing him in this manner, he’s going to take your book away from me, and revoke my amazon.com privileges. I’m trying to stop. But really, some of this stuff is so good, I just want to share it with others, and chasing Mark around seemed like a better idea than standing on the corner, reading selected columns out loud to various passers by. 

If you have need of some good laughs in your life right now, and who doesn’t, you should immediately purchase a copy of Ned’s book. You’ll see what I mean. Before you know it, you, too will be chasing folks round going, “But just listen to this! It’s hilarious, I tell you!”

Humor at the Speed of Life. 

Wake-Robin Ridge Only $1.99 – 2 More Days!

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Only 2 more days! #WakeRobinRidge is available for download for only $1.99. (Regular price $4.99) Find out why librarian Sarah Gray quit her job and moved to a little cabin the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Discover what secret her reclusive, enigmatic neighbor, MacKenzie Cole, is hiding, up there alone in his mountaintop home. And be there when, together, they unravel a mystery involving a decades old murder and the first woman who lived in Sarah’s cabin. Romantic Suspense, with a little touch of spooky. Check it out! 

Wake-Robin Ridge

Bloodling Wolf by Aimee Easterling

bloodlingwolf

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Finished this short story a few weeks ago,  and I’m still thinking about all the great potential for a full length book. Aimee Easterling’s  world building was very interesting, with a “bloodling” being a type of werewolf I’ve not run across before. Bloodlings are rare shifters who are born in animal form and can’t shift into human form until they become teenagers. The central character here, Wolfie, doesn’t really want to become two-footed even then, if he can avoid it. This causes a lot of trouble for him within his pack, as you might imagine. Seeing life from his wolf’s perspective is a nice twist.

I thought the author did an excellent job of building strong characters in a short span of time, and I really enjoyed Wolfie’s struggles. It’s always interesting to see the world through the eyes of someone not exactly part of it in the same way we are, be it aliens, children, or bloodlings.  My only complaint was that it was over too soon, as is the nature of short stories, and I wanted more. 

Can’t wait to see where the tale goes from here. We are all set up for every kind of adventure ahead, and I’m pretty sure a full-length book is in the making. Kudos to Aimee Easterling for a job well done.

Bloodling Wolf

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!

 

My Review of Nancy J. Cohen’s “Writing the Cozy Mystery”

David writes a great blog, and Nancy Cohen is a super nice lady. I’m definitely planning to get this book.

ByDLFernandez

Writing the Cozy Mystery Writing the Cozy Mystery by Nancy J Cohen

In the market for a new, great How-To book on writing? Well, look no further. I keep my eye out for these because they tend to be a wealth of knowledge and experience, packed with interesting ideas and exercises. And I’ve found one that I recommend highly. It’s a quick, efficient read that’ll definitely get your story-brain working.

I’ve been a fan of mysteries for a very long time, from the classics concocted by Conan Doyle, Chandler, and Christie, to modern doozies from the likes of Lehane. Well into my thirties at this point, one of my favorite novels is still a middle-grade cozy puzzle mystery I read in elementary school, The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Even as a middle school literature teacher these days, I read that novel with my 6th graders as part of a larger unit…

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Help!

Somehow I forgot to contact BookGorilla about my Wake-Robin Ridge sale this week. 😦 I need to promote this one myself, so I’m hoping you will all tell your friends and family about the promotion. If you have a blog, and reblog my post (below) about it, I’ll be happy to gift you with a free download of Summer Magic as a thank-you. Just let me know your email in order to receive it. I’ll do the same if you post about it on your Facebook page, or Tweet about it. You may use this link to help readers find it: Wake-Robin Ridge

Really hoping to get the word out, as I can’t offer this price again for 90 days. Thanks for any help you can offer!

Wake-Robin Ridge for $1.99!

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For the next five days, Wake-Robin Ridge will be on sale for $1.99. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, don’t miss out! Love and murder in the Blue Ridge Mountains! You’ll want to get to know Sarah and Mac, and find out what secret has kept MacKenzie Cole alone on his mountaintop, with only his Irish wolfhound, Rosheen, for company. Read how, together, they unravel the mystery of what happened to Ruth Winn, who lived in Sarah’s cabin before her.  Romantic Suspense with a touch of spooky. Get your copy today–you know you want to! 

Writers Digest says Ruthie is a strong and interesting character, Lloyd is compelling and psychotic, and Sarah and Mac’s relationship is adorable. 

“What a wonderful story! Funny, sad uplifting,could not put it down.” 5 Stars

“The author has a wonderful command of language.You feel you have been whisked away to the Blue Ridge Mountains.” 5 Stars

” I love books that evoke emotions. I cried real tears, and laughed out loud.” 5 Stars

“Great character development, beautiful imagery. It’s unique, endearing, funny and at times, tragic.” 5 Stars

“Two days later, I’m still thinking of the characters. Hope there will be a sequel.” 5 Stars 

“The suspense kept building until I just couldn’t put the book down.” 5 Stars 

Wake-Robin Ridge: A Darcy’s Corner Novel

Wild Things by Chloe Neill

wildthingsMy Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Someday I should take a moment and explain my rating system. I’m sure it perplexes some of my readers from time to time when I give their favorite novels only 3 or 4 stars. Sometimes I even give critically acclaimed works with real redeeming social value only 3 or 4 stars, as well. And yet, I’m going to give Chloe Neill’s latest Chicagoland Vampires book a solid 5 stars. How can that be, you may wonder. Simple. Read more…

Spring Is In The Air!

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Actually, down here in central Florida, we’ve already had some days in the low 80’s, so you could say summer is in the air, too. But today is a cool, upper-60’s kind of day, so I’m calling it spring. The migrating goldfinches have shown up at my feeder, where they will consume vast quantities of thistle seed before molting into their bright yellow breeding plumage, and heading farther north to nest. Cardinals are already building this year’s homes, and I’ve even seen a black racer or two, venturing out to bask in the sunlight. 

And on other exciting fronts, I have finally finished my second novel, Swamp Ghosts, and it is in full edit, as I type. You might notice the header has changed to something appropriate for this news. 🙂

I love the editing process, through and through. Revising, cutting, sharpening, looking for better ways to say the same thing, or cleaner prose, or a funnier tidbit to insert. To me, it’s the icing on the cake, and the best part of writing. Hopefully, this book will be published by May 1. I’ll keep you posted on that.

And lastly, maybe the most fun of all, I have a bit more time to read again! I’ve missed it more than you can imagine, and I have some books to review, starting this very afternoon. Just finished Chloe Neill’s latest Chicagoland novel, for one, and a few other things I want to share with you. So stay tuned, folks. Things should be picking up here a bit more each day. Until I start novel #3, that is, and I’m already outlining it. 🙂

 

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