Thirteen things

IMG_20131229_185204I got the idea for this post from my friend Sammy, and the idea is to list thirteen positive things and connected to me (at least, that’s what I gathered from her brief intro).  This list is in no particular order, except for the order in which they occurred to me.  So, without further ado, here are thirteen positive things from 2013:

Review time!

KindarsCureWell, I’ve finished reading another book, and this one was really good.  Kindar’s Cure by Michelle Hauck takes place in the kingdom of Anost, and follows Kindar, second daughter of Empress Eugenie Stefanous, as she seeks out a cure for the disease that is slowly robbing her of life:

Princess Kindar of Anost dreams of playing the hero and succeeding to her mother’s throne. But dreams are for fools. Reality involves two healthy sisters and a wasting disease of suffocating cough that’s killing her by inches. When her elder sister is murdered, the blame falls on Kindar, putting her head on the chopping block.

A novice wizard, Maladonis Bin, approaches with a vision—a cure in a barren land of volcanic fumes. As choices go, a charming bootlicker that trips over his own feet isn’t the best option, but beggars can’t be choosers. As Mal urges her toward a cure that will prove his visions, suddenly, an ally turns traitor, delivering Kindar to a rebel army, who have their own plans for a sickly princess.

With the killer poised to strike again, the rebels bearing down, and the country falling apart, she must weigh her personal hunt for a cure against saving her people.

Spoiler alert! This was a fantastic story.

On querying

As I caught up on my blog reading this morning after taking yesterday off to try and finish Kindar’s Cure (I failed, but I hope to have it done before tomorrow’s over), I ran across these two gems from Janet Reid.  I love reading her blog (and QueryShark); I’ve learned a lot since I started.

Anyway, these two tidbits made me laugh, the first because it’s totally true and the second because, well, I’d like to see that happen (the drinking editors under the table part, followed by that letter).  So, please to enjoy:

There is no right way to do this. There’s the way you do it (which you’ll kick yourself for doing) and the way that Other Writer did it (which will make you think Oh, I wish I’d done that instead!)  The reason is that the grass is always greener in the other WorryWart’s pasture.

Here’s where I’m very much NOT the dream agent for very good writers.  I’ve read a couple darn good novels this year that I had no idea what to do with.  I passed with great sorrow BUT the author deserves an agent who knows what the next step is, and I didn’t. I mean short of sending it out to every editor I’ve drunk under the table with a cover letter that says “this is good, buy this”  (Ok, I’ve done that but it’s not really a strategy you want to encourage.)

To read the whole post, click here.  As always, it’s chock full of wisdom.

(c) 2013.  All rights reserved.


And now, an ecard


I’ve been fighting a sinus infection, an ear infection, and recovering from back-to-back Christmas parties with a cookie walk thrown in for good measure.  I baked 23 dozen Christmas cookies in a span of 24 hours.  I hope to be back to my normal self (both blogging and otherwise) soon, thanks to massive antibiotics (seriously, the things are horse pills!) and a(nother) good night’s sleep.  Until then, please to enjoy these delicious virtual cookies:


Mmm, delicious sugar cookies…om nom nom!

(c) 2013.  All rights reserved.


The long-awaited mystery review

itsaomToday I’m taking a look at In the Shadows by Susan Finlay.  I met her through Facebook and when news of her impending release was announced, I pledged my time to a review.  But first, the blurb:

There is a stranger amongst the residents of the cave-riddled village of Reynier, France.  Suspicious, they believe there’s only one reason Maurelle Dupre would be lurking in their small village – she’s a gypsy, a thief.  But a former Chicago detective turned mystery author, Dave Martin, who happens to be visiting his French grandmother, isn’t so sure about the beautiful stranger when happenstance causes them to meet.  He wonders why she seems so frightened and distrustful.  He knows he shouldn’t get involved.  The last time he trusted a woman in distress, the consequences resulted in the loss of his detective’s shield and his wife.  But, as always, the detective in him can’t seem to leave well enough alone.

However, what Dave couldn’t know is how persuading Maurelle to reveal herself will ultimately unveil something far worse than mere theft.

In the Shadows is a story of trust, belonging, and murder.

I’d like to start by saying that I don’t read a whole lot of mysteries.  I probably have a few in my massive TBR pile, but I think the last book I read that could properly be called a mystery is Mary Higgins Clark‘s Where Are the Children?.  It’s not that I don’t like a good mystery – I do.  It’s just not a genre I’ve read widely.  Also, this review may contain mild spoilers.   Read further at your own risk.

Why time travel intrigues us

I had the great pleasure of reading the following post by James Wymore over on Will Macmillan Jones’s blog yesterday, shared as part of a book tour celebrating the release of Forbidden Future: A Time Travel Anthology.  The link there will take you to Amazon, where you can read more about the book.  It sounds fascinating, and at $.99 (for a limited time only), is a real bargain.

Anyway, I liked James’s post so much that I emailed him for permission to repost it here.  He was kind enough to grant my request, so without further ado, here ’tis:

Few fiction tropes have been delved into so deeply and so frequently as time travel.  Even if only as a thought experiment, I’ve never met somebody who didn’t speculate on how drastically one small difference in the past could change the present.  To be human is to enjoy 20/20 hindsight.  We seldom know the full consequences of the choices we make now, but we can always point to the critical moments in the past.  Just a nudge.  One small word, whispered in an ear at the right moment, and the entire future unfolds differently.

On the other end of the spectrum…

“I speak for the trees…”

IMG_20131202_233702If you had been in my car last night, you’d have heard the following conversation between Cricket and me.  It was just too cute not to share.

C: “Mommy, are the trees mad?”

M: “No, the trees aren’t mad.  Why?”

C: *very earnestly* “Because they are.  They are mad, Mom.  Because I speak for the trees.”

M: “You speak for the trees?”

C: *very somberly* “I do, Mom.  I do.”

I hate to think how many times he watched (or read) The Lorax yesterday for that to spontaneously come out last night – once he starts with something, he wants it endlessly (I am seriously sick of Scooby Doo at this point).  Still, I’m glad he liked it – The Lorax is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories. 🙂

(c) 2013.  All rights reserved.


*blink blink* *yawn*

caffeineOh, good Lord, am I ever tired.  I blame the stupid cold I’ve been fighting for a week in combination with four days of holiday merrymaking, followed by a return to work this morning (although really, work feels like a vacation compared to the thought of staying home with two energetic toddlers the way I feel right now).  This unending crud has me feeling all sorts of fuzzy, impairing my ability to write but not dulling my desire.

Talk about frustration.

On the bright side, it’s snowing on my blog again. 😀

Anyway, with all that in mind (and an apparently busy week ahead of me), I don’t know how often I’ll be posting over the next couple of weeks.  I’ll try and pop in every couple of days, but right now, I think I need to focus on getting better and getting ready for Christmas.  I hope to see you all again soon! 😀

(c) 2013.  All rights reserved.