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So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

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I Wasn’t Captured By Trolls And Carried Away…

presentation1Although sometimes it feel like it! No, I have been working on edits (reviews coming soon!), quilting when I get a minute, and holding down a ‘Real J.O.B’ of all things! With insurance, the real reason to have a J.O.B……) Six hours a day, five days a week, helping people with their COBRA accounts. I don’t know how long it will last, but for now it is a few extra dollars (always welcome) and the opportunity to help people who are, more often than not, in a bad way and needing a kind voice.

But I have to say, I have REALLY missed books! And as the weather changes and I am not outside as much (garden all put to bed) I am fitting reading back into my life. So, watch for more reviews, coming soon!

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Rhinos are having their horns hacked off for art. The U.S. confiscated them and burned them at a zoo — National Post – Top Stories

Good for the U.S.! And Good for the San Diego Zoo for bringing attention to the plight of the Rhino.

A daytime bonfire was staged Thursday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Its kindling: Illegal items made of rhinoceros horn that had been confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The event — which destroyed whole horns, ornaments and products advertised as medicinals, together worth $1 million on the black market — was meant to…

via Rhinos are having their horns hacked off for art. The U.S. confiscated them and burned them at a zoo — National Post – Top Stories

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Why it’s vital to have full control of your writing style

Another brilliant article from Michael. Cheers!

Matthew Wright

The other day, in fairly quick succession, I found myself writing (a) revisions to a second edition of a non-fiction history book I wrote years ago, (b) a fantasy story I’ve recently been commissioned to write, and (c) a grant application.

Chrysler Airflow in Napier, New Zealand. Chrysler Airflow in Napier, New Zealand. Design styling par excellence – because the designers could control what they wanted. Writers need to too.

All of them demanded utterly different writing styles – and I had to jump between them.

Luckily I’ve spent several decades writing and have full control of writing style. But I didn’t get there by accident. It’s a specific skill, and it’s one writers have to deliberately acquire. I also think that the ability to control style is one of the most crucial and basic skills needed in writing.

All too often I see beginning writers – now, of course, publishing on Amazon – clearly struggling…

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Need to Change My Writing Process

Given the time it’s taking to revise my manuscripts, it’s pretty obvious my process kind of sucks. I know some writers approach their first draft as the “junk …

Source: Need to Change My Writing Process

I know more writers than I can count who have this same issue! Visit A.D. Martin and check out the whole post. . . 😉  Leiah

A perfect evening in

While I am busy, thought I would let you see what Midnight Owl is up to! Books and knitting…. ahhhhhhh.

MidKnit Owl

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An American Disgrace

A report by Jonathan M. Katz for The New York Times. Just days after the United Nations acknowledged playing a role in a cholera outbreak in Haiti, and a day after it was ruled immune from related lawsuits by a United States court, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on the organization’s member states to […]

via U.N. Leader Urges Member States to Fund Haiti’s Cholera Recovery — Repeating Islands

It is bad enough that our courts were such cowards in 2010. Now, what do you think the most hateful, bigoted presidential candidate in the history of the US would say to Haiti when they ask for help? This is a tiny planet, under incredible stress. Turning our backs on our neighbors is inexcusable.

 

Vellichor: (n) the wistfulness embodied by second hand bookstores

What a lovely post – I would love to visit here! But Oh,  the hopelessness of those books, sentenced to reside as mere legs to the value of the rest! Sigh.

Well, my revival has survived into its second week. This Sunday’s word is one that I only recently learned, despite spending large chunks of my youth in used bookstores precisely because of it. Well, it and the cheap books.

via Venice, why we really haunt used bookstores, and some thoughts on geography — pohltry

 

Night’s Embrace (Others of Seattle Book 1)

book cover of Nights Embrace “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” ― Bob Marley

OK, here’s the dealeo. When I first picked up Night’s Embrace (Others of Seattle Book 1) I was underwhelmed. ‘Instalove’ anyone? But, I was in a hot tub, glass of Merlot at hand, rolled towel behind my neck – So, what the heck? And you know something? It wasn’t all that bad, once you got past the typical ‘Boy meets girl. Instant attraction. Sex. Repeat.” scenario. Instead, Brandy L. Rivers has written a tale of hate, betrayal, love, death, and hope all wrapped up in the instalove that so many offer today. Of course, if those books didn’t sell, they wouldn’t be written, right?

Roxy Night, lead singer for Nights Embrace, is a sucker for a sob story, never as well illustrated as by the fact that she has carried her ex-boyfriend, Jordan, for the last five years, babying him out of obsessions, depressions, and maudlin weeping for her to return to him. Bailing him out of fraught situations, ignoring the sex addiction that broke up their relationship in the first place, and generally being a combination mother and babysitter for his whacked-out self. But Roxy is through. Through, I say! And when she meets Trevor, the lead singer of Lunar Storm, she has every intention of standing by her vow to let Jordan deal with his own problems.

So, how’s that workin’ out for you, Roxy?

Wolf shifters aren’t in Roxy’s world view. Nor are succubus, demons, incubus, or any other fae beasties that go bump in the night. But suddenly, she is thrust into that world she never knew, and staying alive through it may be impossible. For while Trevor and his band, as well as their mates, all seem to be good guys, a darkness follows them around – a darkness rooted in jealousy, hate, and an obsessive pair of wolves who will do anything to make sure Trevor suffers. And Roxy is right at the top of the list of ‘make Trevor suffer’ projects. Oh, and let’s not forget the father that Roxy never knew. Her mother may have protected her for most of her life, but mom is dead now, and Daddy Dearest is determined to capture Roxy and make her into the very type of monster he is.

I think I came to like Roxy’s book so well because, while there was that instalove thing that has come to be more than boring for me, there was also a strong thread of how friendships can often weather storms that can crush relationships, and how the vicious struggles of addiction, no matter what type, can destroy everything one holds closest to the heart. Oh, and let’s not forget the important part for me – no matter how evil one (or both!) of your parents are, your friends are the family you make for yourself.  3.5 stars.21848497

Oh, and one thing I will mention. The cover at the beginning of this post is the one on my copy. I noticed that Rivers has apparently changed the cover to this one. Personally? I much prefer the one on my copy! It shows off the model’s gorgeous eyes and classical features, and the wolf matches the one in the story. Just my opinion… 😉

 

 

 

 

Shadowed Flame by RJ Blain

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“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides.” –  Junichiro Tanizaki

Matia Evans knows the strength of silence. A sword and a cudgel, silence is the friend that never leaves her side. And in her world of shades of black, white, and gray, silence is the truth that delves past the face of glamour. She has never seen blue, yellow, or green. But when terrorists blow up La Guardia Airport while she and her father are waiting for their plane to Boston, that particular shade of charcoal announcing the color others call ‘red’, the supposedly vibrant crimson of blood, splashes, drips and pools. And Matia Evans will never be the same. For, after hours of pushing and bullying the other survivors into searching the ruins for survivors alongside her, in a devastated and blocked off Terminal B, Matia is dying. Funny. After hours on end of brutal, bloody labors, finding endless corpses, but at times the joy of the forms of the living, Matia is dying in the lap of a stranger, of smoke inhalation and the chemical funk which permeates the air. And she’s OK with that. Lives were saved, her life ends on a positive note, and at least if her father really is dead, he will have gone before her. He won’t have to mourn her loss.

But sometimes, unlike taxes, the shadow of Death may be turned away. And when Matia wakes up in hospital, her life is about to change in ways she would have, could have, never expected.

I first read and reviewed Ms. Blain with “Beneath the Blood Moon” and though I really did enjoy it, I was disappointed that her work could have benefited from a content editor to make sure she tied up all her loose ends and kept her story focused. That isn’t the case with “Shadowed Flame.” This is, by far, one of the better written stories in the YA/Paranormal genre. And while there is a romance, it is so well written I hate to call it “Paranormal Romance.” Yes, it is there, but it is only a portion of a rich tapestry of story, character and world.  (Oh, and it is ‘clean’ too. We don’t have to know exactly ‘how’ the bedroom calisthenics are carried out – only that they occur – and they are only a small part of the overarching story line.) I was surprised, and incredibly pleased, to follow the story of Matia, her struggles, losses and pain, but also her deep conviction and drive to do the right thing, no matter the pain it caused her. Ms. Blain has written a story with solid character development and world building, two of the most important things I look for in books. Her writing is focused and crisp, and her development of Matia, especially, is probably the best representation of a driven, dedicated, loving young woman of character and strength. Only eighteen, she has taken the gifts she was given and blossomed into a woman who others respect. And when she actually opens her mouth and speaks, well, people do tend to listen.

This isn’t a silly book by any means. A good portion of the story comes before the La Guardia explosion, and builds your understanding and care for Matia and her father, as well as the more minor players in her life. Her father is a hoot, I truly enjoyed his character as well. To be honest, at first I wasn’t sure I was going to like Matia.

“For the third time since arriving at work two hours ago, Dad tripped over his own feet and smacked face first into the carpet. The thump of him hitting the floor drowned out my sigh. I debated whether to get up and help him or stay at my desk and observe his efforts to restore his dignity.”

Of course, by the second page I had grasped their relationship, sighing and rolling my own eyes over the incident. Between Ralph’s apparent ‘Clumsy Curse’ and Matias parsimonious use of words, their relationship has a comedic balance that is apparent throughout the book, always showing up at unexpected times. There is a deep love and understanding between the two that made the whole book worthwhile on its own.

Once Ms. Blain begins the ‘paranormal’ portion of the book, there is a maturity and dignity to the characters that I much admired. There isn’t the ‘wham-bam’ sort of presentation of other, less developed books in the genre. ‘See woman. Take woman. HEA. The End.’ Instead, Ms. Blain turns the paranormal romance portion of the book on its head, in a most interesting way. I would have read the book just for that fact, but it is so much more that I simply couldn’t put it down.

I am impressed, and very pleased, that I picked up Shadowed Flame, and am anxious to learn how you like it as well. Though I wasn’t able to give Beneath the Blood Moon a more than moderate rating, I am very happy to say I give this one full marks! You can pick up Shadowed Flame here. It is on Kindle Unlimited, so you can read for free, or purchase the book for your library.

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