Monday, October 28, 2013

Off the Bookshelf: MIRROR, MIRROR

The yearly anthology by JD Robb, Mary Blayney, Elaine Fox, Mary Kay McComas, and R.C. Ryan is something I always look forward to. So yes, I broke my vow not to buy new books until I had cleared a shelf of my to-be-read bookrack.

This anthology takes classic faerie tales and puts them in more recent settings, either rewriting the whole story or using elements from them to weave a romance.

We have Hansel & Gretel, Goldilocks, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Matchgirl, and Cinderella. My hat off to these master storytellers. I've played with turning faerie tales and turning them into SF stories -- making them more close to our own time is a little harder, but they do it wonderfully. Read the book!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Off the Bookshelf: SNUFF by Terry Pratchett

Yet ANOTHER addiction of mine -- the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett.

What's Discworld, you may ask?

Fantasy -- British humor -- magic -- silliness -- clever -- satire.

Discworld -- a disk-shaped world/flat world -- floating through space on the back of four elephants, poised on the back of a giant, spacegoing turtle.

SNUFF regales readers with the further adventures of Sam Vimes, commander of the Ankh-Morpork Watch -- the city police. Poor Commander Vimes has given in and gone off to the country (foreign culture) with his wife, Lady Sybil, for a vacation. What's a copper to do? He doesn't have to look for trouble, though -- it finds him.

I LOVE Discworld, and I especially love going back again and again and watching favorite characters grow and develop as their lives change. Vimes is a man of the streets, yet somehow he ends up a duke and married to a noble lady -- who happens to raise dragons -- and now their son is growing up. Adorable, clever, precocious Young Sam. Other characters I love to visit again are the witches led by Granny Weatherwax, or the bumbling wizards of the Unseen University. Major fun to be had all the time.

And for the truly adventurous, there are graphic novels, as well as movies based on several of the books. I'd start with Hogfather, if I were you. Especially since Christmas is coming up, and Hogfather ... umm ... satirizes some aspects of the extremely commercialized holiday ... just saying ...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Off the Bookshelf: CALCULATED IN DEATH by JD Robb

What can I say? I am addicted to the adventures of Dallas and Roarke -- as in Eve Dallas, homicide detective in a near-future New York, and her Irish-born gazillionaire (her words!) husband.

It just goes to show how busy I've been for the last year, that I didn't get this book in hardcover when it first came out, but waited for paper. Of course, then I devoured it in three days -- after I got my day's writing and earning-a-living work done, of course.

Thank goodness the baseball season is over (for me, anyway) so my evenings are a little freer ....

CALCULATED IN DEATH starts with finding a murdered woman in a doorway on a frigid November evening. She's a wife, mother, accountant/auditor, and the murderer tries to make it look like a mugging. But of course, Dallas senses something is wrong. And as she follows the trail and uncovers the lies being told by multiple people, she gets the true criminals upset, then panicked, so they make big mistakes.

More important than the mystery and bringing justice for the victim, though, is the interplay of characters, the growth of the relationship between Eve and Roarke, the visits from people we've come to know and love, and chuckle quietly as Eve struggles with the trials and tribulations of being famous, despite her best efforts to just do her job. Her utter terror of the beautician, Trina. Her frustration with Roarke, who delights in showering her with gifts -- but the man knows how to make them useful, as in a thigh holster to go under her designer gown, or a leather coat with a stunner-proof lining. And then there's Peabody, her partner, and McNab, e-detective, and their relationship, the pop singer Mavis and her fashion designer husband, Leonardo, Dr. Mira and her husband and other members of the NYPSD.

I finished a big writing project, met a deadline, and despite my resolve not to buy new books until I cleared at least one shelf of my to-be-read bookrack ... well, I deserve the treat, the indulgence. Love the books!

Monday, October 7, 2013

SOLDIER'S HEART by Tamera Kraft

Instead of giving you a book report, I'm delighted to talk about the newest release by one of my writing friends, Tamera Lynn Kraft.

Murray Pura's American Civil War Series - Cry of Freedom - Volume 13 - Soldier's Heart 

150 years ago the history of America changed forever. Live 1863 through the stories of some of our finest writers – the passion, the romance, the tragedy, and the triumph. 

Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three-year
enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.

But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?

Check out Tamera's web site at:

Or follow this link to the Amazon page for the Kindle edition: