Ideas sometimes whisper

I tried to come up with a quick short story to post today for the first Writing 101 challenge.  I’m really excited to be participating in another Blogging University event, especially one that’s geared toward writing!  Normally all I have to do is just look out the window for just a whisper of an idea, and then I’m off, my hand (and pen) gliding swiftly over the page, seemingly of their own volition.

But not today.

For whatever reason, I’m unable to concentrate today.  The only thing to be heard at the moment is the song “Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winter Group, which is currently blaring from the office radio.  Soon enough, it will be something else, something which is sure to be be equally distracting.  I mean, it’s a good song, but when I’m trying to focus on characters and setting and plot, it’s too…

Review time!

cotsI’ve been reading again the last few weeks, something I really should do more of.  I used to always have my nose in a book, but now trying to find time to escape into another world so completely when there are so many other demands on my time is just exhausting.  I really do need to make more of an effort, though, because reading more (and widely) is one of the best, easiest, and most entertaining ways to improve my own writing.

With that in mind, behold the glory that is City of the Sun by Juliana Maio.  This fantastic book is set in Cairo during WWII, which is one of my favorite periods to study, the Holocaust in particular.  I love reading accounts of what it was like living under Nazi rule because it’s so different from what I know, and it terrifies me to think that people can be so horrible to each other.

But this book is a work of fiction; while real people appear in it, and similar events did take place, the author used them for her own purposes.  From Goodreads:

Ambitious American journalist Mickey Connolly has come to Cairo to report on the true state of the war. Facing expulsion by the British for not playing by their rules, he accepts a deal from the U.S. embassy that allows him to remain in the country. His covert mission: to infiltrate the city’s thriving Jewish community and locate a refugee nuclear scientist who could be key to America’s new weapons program. But Mickey is not the only one looking for the elusive scientist. A Nazi spy is also desperate to find him–and the race is on. Into this mix an enigmatic young woman appears, a refugee herself. Her fate becomes intertwined with Mickey’s, giving rise to a story of passion, entangled commitments, and half-truths.

Once I started this story, I couldn’t put it down.  Well, okay, I could, obviously, or it wouldn’t have taken me so long to finish it, but when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about it.  Mickey and Maya wouldn’t leave me alone; they demanded I finish reading to see what happened.  The romance was captivating, and the tension just kept ratcheting up the further I read.  I noted some parallels between what happened in the Middle East 70-odd years ago and what is happening there today, which made the story all the more intriguing.

If you like historical fiction, and you like a good love story, and you’re looking for a thrill, then check out City of the Sun.  It’s got all of that and more!

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

The Summer Reads Blog Tour!

 

Lisa's Summer Read's blog tour banner

For the next thirteen weeks, I’ll be participating in Lisa L. Wiedmeier’s Summer Reads Blog Tour.  It’s going to be lots of fun!  There will be book recommendations and prizes and author talk…It’s a tour made of win!

As the posts go up, I’ll be reblogging them and adding the links to this post, but be sure to head over to Lisa’s blog, too, because she’s got a Rafflecopter event of epic proportions going on.  She’s got books!  She’s got swag!  She’s got a one-hour Skype session!

But you can’t win if you don’t read these posts.  So, without further ado, the links to the posts lie below!

Week One – Lisa L. Wiedmeier
Week Two – Sam Dogra
Week Three – Carrie Fetzer
Week Four – Will Macmillan Jones
Week Five – Andrea Baker
Week Six – Tricia Drammeh
Week Seven – Sammy HK Smith
Week Eight – Kay Kauffman
Week Nine – Michel Prince
Week Ten – AFE Smith
Week Eleven – Sophie E. Tallis
Weeks Twelve and Thirteen – Lisa’s Reflections

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.