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So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Month

April 2015

A Bealtaine Poem | The Old Ways

Hard to believe tomorrow is Beltane! Time moves so swiftly – make the best of it.

aliisaacstoryteller

bealtaine fire

Sun has slipped beyond the rim, and

on the hill,

fiery petals unfurl,

a towering blossom of flame,

summer’s herald,

an omen of peace and plenty.

*

Around the Beal-fire maidens sway,

yellow wrapped with starry strings of gorse,

their eyes light filled,

heat leaping in their blood,

summer’s song sweet on their lips

*

while men compete at warrior’s sport.

They attempt the hero leap

over the fire,

urged on by mead, camaraderie, bravado,

a lover’s glance, and

the need to prove their own prowess.

*

Children run between the fires,

soot covered, laughing,

or listen, slack jawed,

to the tall tales the fili tell.

*

And then the cattle drive,

no small feat of a man’s skill

to manoeuvre that fire-crazed stampede

successfully through the inferno.

*

Eriu’s eye has opened. She sees all,

as the fires rise and fall

like the washing of the tides,

the wax and wane…

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Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female

See. Told you women kick ass! 😉

aliisaacstoryteller

Now, isn’t that a surprise? In most ancient societies, warriors were an elite class. If women were equal with men on the battlefield, it is more than likely they were equal in other areas of society, as well. This appears to be true of early Ireland, too, until something happened round about the C5th…

Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female.

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#Authors, why use #hashtags in your blog post titles?

Huh. I never thought of that…

deborahjay

You may have noticed that I use hashtags in my blog post titles, and I wouldn’t blame you for wondering why – that used to be me, too, when I noticed an author I follow cluttering up her titles with those rather unattractive tags.

But we want people to share our posts, don’t we? After all, that’s why we have all those ‘share’ buttons after our posts – to make it simple and fast for people to share – but how effective are they?

squirrel

If you’re sharing to Facebook, then its likely to be to your closer group of friends; to Google, your like-minded associates.

But to Twitter?

Have you looked at the tweets generated by the share buttons, before you click on ‘tweet’?

They include the title of your piece – but unless the sharer takes the time to add hashtags, they go out with, often, a title that strangers…

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How to Make a Book Trailer

I enjoy book trailers, but never knew how they were made. What a great instruction post.

Writing Madness

With Wildflower Crown set to come out in June, I’ve been looking into making a book trailer. Now, it’s important to note that book trailers are not the same as movie trailers. Especially for indie authors, you’re not going to have actors acting out things that happen in the book and showing clips of it. You can, if you want, but your trailer is likely going to flop. This is an amazing trailer, but unless you’re willing to shell out a lot of money (or you happen to be a talented film student), it isn’t going to happen:

So if you can’t make a trailer like that, what is it going to be like? Well, you’re going to have pictures and words. Narration, possibly, if you or a friend has a nice voice and a nice microphone. Here is an example of a good book trailer than anyone could make:

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Review: The Enigma Strain by Nick Thacker

The Enigma Strain (Harvey Bennett #1)“We know we cannot underestimate the importance of emergency planning in our region, nor can we assume we’ll have ample warning time. If an earthquake or terrorist attack hits, we won’t necessarily have advance alerts or opportunities to double- and triple-check our plans”. – Ellen Tauscher

“The purpose of terrorism lies not just in the violent act itself. It is in producing terror. It sets out to inflame, to divide, to produce consequences which they then use to justify further terror.” – Tony Blair

“This country values freedom, but you and I both know that ‘freedom’ is a joke. We’re somewhere between a third-world country with a corrupt government and an overbearing corporation on the scale of how free we really are. Americans now hold on to every scrap of ‘freedom’ they can find, including their own individuality –“ Nick Thacker, The Enigma Strain

Harvey “Ben” Bennett, Yellowstone Ranger, has had a crummy day. First, the worst kind of campers created a huge mess at their campsite – then are all bent out of shape when Mo the Grizzly shows up. Good ol’ Mo, he knows where the easy goodies are. Stupid, messy, complaining psudo-campers, ruining the sanctity of the ecosystem. Bah. Now, Ben has to haul Mo up to the northern end of the park, far away from the campsite areas, and ignorant tourists. This is Mo’s third strike – if he wanders back to populated areas, he winds up on death row. All because tourists can’t keep from treating the park like Disneyland, complete with throwing their trash on the ground.

But when Ben and Carlos Rivera haul Mo north, they run into more than they expected. A monstrous explosion, complete with mushroom cloud, causes an earthquake that drops Carlos into a chasm in the Earth. Now, a red dust cloud hangs over Yellowstone – a cloud of death. As people begin to die, Ben finds himself partnered with Julie Richardson, a specialist with the Biological Threat Research Division of the Centers for Disease Control as they chase the origin of what appears to be a synthetic, airborne virus. A virus that, if released across the US, could cause near total destruction. But that isn’t the only terrorist action that is planned. For the explosion in Yellowstone may only be the first – and if the caldera under Yellowstone blows, the United States will turn into a wasteland.

There is action aplenty in The Enigma Strain. Ben and Julie are realistic characters, well developed and designed, and the people they run up against, from self-centered management personnel to soulless terrorists and guns for hire are also well rendered, though tend towards ‘over-the-top’. As with my review of Thacker’s The Depths, I find myself disappointed with the obvious continuity issues. Editorial issues are not as bad as in The Depths, but I find continuity issues to be tremendously aggravating – especially when it changes the character of the actors, their mental, intellectual and psychological actions and capabilities. Hard right turns in intellectual levels are infuriating.

The ideas are on the edge, but frighteningly believable in these days of worldwide terrorism. It was a fun read overall, and worth the time spent. The infusion of historical events gave the book the extra ‘kick’ it needed to encourage the excitement level.

I receive this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Teaser Tuesday (April 28)

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers: (Multiple, since I am reading more than one book!)

My ancestors didn’t have any border — comprende? You guys stole California and made up a border. – The Juan Doe Murders, Noreen Ayres

We don’t really have any large chunks of redundant DNA . . . Perhaps most excitingly for a general audience, ENCODE also claimed that its findings were casting important new light on links between the genome and common diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune conditions, and mental disorders like schizophrenia. – The Deeper Genome, by John Parrington.

“You created a virus?” “I discovered one, yes. In its natural state, it was barely enough to harm a small mammal, unless it is ingested in quantity. But with a few alterations and improvements –” The Enigma Strain, Nick Thacker

Wow.

I can’t believe it, but I am actually catching up on my books from Netgalley and Storycartel. Lots of other books as well – but if I tell you what I am doing, well, maybe I will get caught up, right? laughing white boxer25012918One is The Juan Doe Murders by Noreen Ayres. A Smokey Brandon Thriller, it deals with a serial killer who murders Mexican Immigrants, and in a fiction format brings up issues of immigration, the rich vs. the poor, and the tremendous imbalance of wealth in this country. It came to me from Netgalley – only THREE Netgalley’s on my list, then I will be caught up!

 

The Deeper Genome by John Parington expands upon the Human Genome Project, delving into the international ENCODE project and what it says about the deeper findings of DNA and RNA the layers of regulatory elements controlling and coordinating the switching on and off of genes. Deep stuff, but utterly amazing. The second of my Netgalley books awaiting review.

The third Netgalley book is Speaking In Bones by Kathy Reichs. I have been a big fan for years, but got away from it for a while. I will see if this book nudges my interest once more.

I have two books from Penguin’s First To Read program. TThe Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupihe Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi, and Dry Bones: A Walt Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson. 

Penguin books are harder for me to read, as they have a heck of a DRM, which means that on my Samsung tablet I have to read in a program which accepts PDF files – a TOTAL pain, as Adobe Reader says “ERROR: The document has features that are not supported in this version of Adobe Reader.” Duh. It is an Adobe PDF! Sigh. The only thing that really works is Aldiko Premium which, though it pulls it up, and allows me to highlight for notes for my reviews, is a true pain in the backside when it comes to moving between pages . . . I can swipe ten or fifteen times before it will turn a page! Gack. Anyone recommend another program that works with PDF’s that is easier to work with?

Another one that is taking time to read, requiring “fun” reads between chapters? The Enigma Strain (Harvey Bennett #1)The Enigma Strain: Harvey Bennett #1 by Nick Thacker. Terrorists, explosions in Yellowstone National Park, murders, and biological weapons straight out of history. Intense.

Also from Storycartel, Path of the HorsemanPath of the Horseman by Amy Braun. The Four Horsemen decimated the world – but now they are stuck here. Sounds like it might be interesting…

Reading for fun in between the deep stuff?Spin Art: Mastering the Craft of Spinning Textured Yarn Spin Art by Jacey Boggs. I have been seeing all these wonderful textured yarns on Etsy, and learning how to do them is a lot of fun! Wraps, corespinning, bumps, and foreign objects, i.e., spinning in beads, baubles, shiny objects and bits of cloth spun into your yarn! Examples from some of my fav spinners on Etsy.com? Click the pics to go to the etsy pages.

FLOUNCES - ooak bulky handspun art yarn - multicoloured textured novelty yarn with hand dyed wool - art yarn handspun yarn  bulky yarnART YARN handspun tailspun Wensleydale locksArt yarn handspun SALE buy 3 get 1 free Bee Balm 3.1 oz. wool locks curls tail spun

 

Relaxing before bedtime? Suzanne Wright’s The Phoenix Pack series. The fourth book just came out, and I get a huge kick out of Taryn Warner, the heroine, so I am listening to them in order (Kindle Whispersync) – seeing as how I also missed the third book.  Fun – two new smexys for the reading! (Note to British authors writing settings in the U.S. – Americans don’t eat baked beans for breakfast – that is a completely British thing to do! LOL) If you liked the Ridgeville Series by Celia Kyle, you might like this one as well.

Feral Sins (The Phoenix Pack, #1)Wicked Cravings (The Phoenix Pack, #2)https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1380674441l/17853851.jpgDark Instincts (The Phoenix Pack, #4)

 

Of course, my TBR stack is monstrous…. but the next Witch's Diary (Lost Library, #4)Lost Library Shorts Collection: Clara & Logan's Trilogy PLUS 2 Bonus Shortstwo books I have  “Up Next” are Witches Diary: A Lost Library Novel and the Lost Library Short Story Trilogy both by Kate Baray. If you haven’t read this series, you are really missing out. If you haven’t read my reviews, type “Kate Baray” in my search box.

Wow. I just realized, I need to get reading!

wow

 

Can There Be “too much” C.U.T.E.N.E.S.S.?

Awww… I LOVE me some BOXERS!!!

Abstract Art by Sharon Cummings

Fans and viewers say no. This image of a cute little boxer has received the most traffic of any of my dog images in the least amount of time! And a print sold in less than 24 hours of listing! I say it’s just the right amount of cuteness. 😉

ColorfulBoxerFB“Colorful Boxer”

Mixed Media Dog Art Collage Painting

Sharon Cummings

2015

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Now taking custom pet portrait orders!

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http://fineartamerica.com/featured/colorful-boxer-dog-art-by-sharon-cummings-sharon-cummings.html

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Review – Ready to Were: Shift Happens Series Book One

23524116“He’s her mate and he dipped his stick in several other … actually many other oil tanks. So she dumped his furry player ass, snuck away in the middle of the night and hadn’t really planned on ever going back there again.” – Dwayne

Last night was “cleanse the palette” night. After some difficult reads, with deep thought processes needed, it was time to pull up a “freebie” from an Indie author. Ground rules: the author’s first book in a series (I had thought this was actually her first book, then I got a gander at the whole NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author thing – ah well!), a ‘light’ read with a female lead, and it has to promise to have some humour.

What I came up with was Ready to Were: Shift Happens, Book One. Originally appearing in Three Southern Beaches, which I haven’t read, this novella extends a short. Essie McGee is an agent with WTF – the Werewolf Treaty Federation. Her job is, basically, to go out and kill things. Quite a bit different from her life on Hung Island, Georgia, where her main interest was her sexy Alpha Hank Wilson. That all ended when Hank couldn’t keep it in his pants – who wants to be barefoot and pregnant and at the beck and call of a player – but when Essie gets marching orders back to go back to Hung Island on a case, even though she would rather chew off her own paw, well. Hilarity happens.

Dragging her gay 300 year old Vampyre best friend along with her for moral support, Essie blows into Hung Island to all the things she left behind. Including Grandma Bobby Sue – and the dreaded Hank the Cheater. But as Dwayne says, “you’re far too beautiful to be hung up on a goober.”

There are missing women, strangers in town, and a desperate rush to find the women before it is too late. All well written, paced and plotted. But the best part? I am lying in bed with my Shih Tzu, Koda, and I laughed so hard when we met Grandma Bobby Sue that he leaped up off my stomach and started barking at whatever made his mom blow up!

laughcat I loved this book! As I said, it is free on Amazon, so grab your copy and sit back to enjoy yourself! Published November 25, 2014, I guess I will have to wait a bit for the next installment. Bummer!

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