Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book Review: Grave Surprise, by Charlaine Harris

Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly, #2)Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Harper Connelly series, so I expected myself to still be warming up to the premise and the characters. That wasn't a problem: the book spent a lot of time filling in the background and showing how the characters developed because of their pasts.

I think, though, that it spent too much time there. I don't think the pace suffered, really, but more the sense of delight and fascination that one feels getting to know a new series.

I liked it enough, though, to try the third book in the series.

P.S. I actually listened to the audio version, narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan, whose narration I enjoyed.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Review: Writing, by Stephen King

On WritingOn Writing by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's very rare that I have the time to read a book twice. It's also rare that I buy both a paper copy and an audio copy. It's rarer still that I do both.

With On Writing I did do both: Bought and read the paper copy, then bought the audio book so I could "read" it again.

The joy of the audiobook is that King reads it himself, and you get to hear the excitement and raw emotion behind the words. Oh, it's not that the master of horror couldn't get across those emotions by words alone, but to hear them, to feel his emotion in his voice, that is a treasure.

His advice, as both a writer and a teacher of writing, is excellent. His stories, especially ones from childhood, are priceless.

Recommended. Highly recommended.

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Book Review: Grave Sight, by Charlaine Harris

Grave Sight (Harper Connelly, #1)Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have two friends who were fans of Charlaine Harris' mysteries way before the Sookie Stackhouse series. They both recommended the Lily Bard series and this one, the Harper Connelly series. The premise of Harper Connelly's story interested me more, so I started with this one.

I'm not giving it 5 stars because it didn't knock my socks off, but I really did like it and enjoyed the character of Harper Collins. She's more intelligent and level-headed than Sookie Stackhouse, but I liked that.

I also liked the fact that although I started to guess the mystery, I couldn't figure out all of it, and when it was finally revealed, I didn't feel cheated.

The character of Tolliver, her brother, seemed uneven to me, but I'm not sure if that's because of the way he was written or the way he was performed. I listened to the audio version of this book, so it's hard to tell if that's the way Charlaine told it or the way Alyssa Bresnahan interpreted. I think her narration was great, but I just didn't "get" Tolliver.

I've listened to only one book in the series, though, so I can't really judge it. I've got the second book, Grave Surprise, loaded on my iPod and look forward to listening to it.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

So that's what my cat was saying!

Like many geriatric felines, my cat talks a lot. Both my husband and I have developed the habit of meowing back. This normally isn't a problem --unless someone else is in the room. 

One day I was standing at the front door giving my cookie order to a local Girl Scout when the cat meowed from another room. Without thinking, I meowed back. I'm sure the girl went home and told her mother that the lady across the street was strange. Really strange.

Tonight I was giving my wrist a break, using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to dictate some notes. From downstairs I heard the familiar meow. Again, without thinking, I meowed back. Looking at the clock I realized that it was probably time to feed the cat. When I looked back at the computer screen, I realized that Dragon had translated my meow to "well". So, that's what my cat was saying!

Monday, March 07, 2011

International Women's Day - March 8, 2011

From the press area of their web site:

"International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating
the economic, political and social achievements of women past,
present and future. In some countries like China, Russia,
Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. The first IWD
event was run in 1911 so 2011 sees the Global Centenary."

Hundreds of women around the world celebrate this day each year. The theme for 2011 is:

Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women

If you are a women and you've been fortunate enough to have such access, at the very least, stop and feel gratitude for what you have.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Read an eBook Week - March 6-12, 2011

According to the history page of their web site, eBooks turn 40 this year!

In 1971, the first book to possibly qualify as an eBook was the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which was posted on a Xerox Sigma V mainframe computer. And that was the beginning of Project Gutenberg, a source of free books that continues today.

You can read the Project Gutenberg mission statement by Michael Hart, who posted that first eBook, on the Project Gutenberg web site.

Happy birthday, eBooks!
P.S. Both of by books, Darksome Thirst and The Old Power Returns, are available in Kindle versions. Other electronic formats are coming soon. Don't have a Kindle? You can read Kindle-formatted right on your computer. See my earlier blog post for details.

US Editions
Darksome Thirst

The Old Power Returns

UK Editions
Darksome Thirst

The Old Power Returns

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Broad Universe Membership Special

If you've been following my blogs, you know that I'm active in Broad Universe, an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres.

The Broad Universe membership year runs from June 1st to May 31st, but if you join or renew now, you get 15 months of news, tips, community, and more for the price of 12 months.

If you want to support women writers in the speculative genres, and especially if you ARE -- or want to BE -- a woman writer in the speculative genres, consider joining. As it says on the web site, "For the cost of three lattes at your favorite coffee shop ($15) or a dinner for one at a reasonable restaurant ($30)," you can receive benefits that include posting your news of sales and upcoming events on our web page, listing your books in our catalog, and having access ot the Members Only area of the web.

For more information, see