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Archive for June, 2009

In Twilight’s Shadowis the second book in the Light Warriors series by Patti O’Shea. I think I’ve mentioned that I loved the first book. I’ve expanded that statement to include the series.shadowtn_062008

In this book we get to know Maia Frasier and Creed Blackwood who only played small parts In the Midnight Hour.

Maia gave up her magical powers to protect her sister, Ryne, years earlier but when Creed Blackwood shows up on her door in need of help, she finds herself pulled back into the world of the Gineal enforcers.

I actually liked Maia better than Ryne, maybe because I could identify with her better. I’m also the big sister and suffer from protect-itis. And Creed? Did you hear that? It’s my heart beating faster. Yes, Patti knows how to make a man sexy. But this is what I think she excelled in. Patti managed to expand the world she created and I didn’t once feel bogged down in back story.

In Twilight Shadow stands on its own but if you loved Ryne and Deke, don’t worry, they are in this book as supporting actors. It was almost as though the sisters took turn starring and I loved the effect.

But the best news of all? The third book: Edge of Dawn comes out today! So what are you waiting for? Go get it. : )

An interesting tid-bit, I first ‘met’ Patti O’Shea on twitter when she had the cover for In Twilight’s Shadow as her avatar. So, as I haven’t met her in person, I always picture her as the woman on the cover.

To find out more about Patti O’Shea and her books, check out her website.

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I’m back

and the coast was a blast. How could it not be? The beach, sand, waves, good food and 30 degrees cooler than where I live.IMGP4887

On the way to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, I ran into tall, dark and silent. Yup, that’s my brood, well, most if it. The little one was fascinated with his sword. Should I be worried? IMGP4898
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011 The aquarium was fun, tiring, but fun. Here are my favorite two pictures. The first are jelly fish The second a seahorse. 026

It’s good to be home but as it’s 108 out there today, I kinda miss the ocean breezes.

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Friday Funnies

DEAR ABBY ADMITTED SHE WAS AT A LOSS TO ANSWER ANY OFTHE FOLLOWING LETTERS:

Dear Abby, A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties. These two women go everywhere together, and I’ve never seen a man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?

 

Dear Abby, What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence on my VCR?

 

Dear Abby, I have a man I can’t trust. He cheats so much, I’m not even sure the baby I’m carrying is his.

 

Dear Abby, I am a twenty-three year old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years. It’s getting expensive and I think my boyfriend should share half the cost, but I don’t know him well enough to discuss money with him.

 

Dear Abby, I’ve suspected that my husband has been fooling around, and when confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would never happen again. Dear Abby, Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his own?

 

Dear Abby, I joined the Navy to see the world. I’ve seen it. Now how do I get out?

 

Dear Abby, My forty year old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50.00 an hour every week for two and a half years. He must be crazy.

 

Dear Abby, I was married to Bill for three months and I didn’t know he drank until one night he came home sober.

 

Dear Abby, My mother is mean and short tempered I think she is going through mental pause.

 

Dear Abby, You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor. Well, my husband lost all interest in sex and he is a doctor. Now what do I do?

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 1. Gum ~ Do you remember opening up a brand new stick (or cube) of gum? The smell alone was tantalizing. Now, when I think of gum, it’s in the context of how to get it out of things. Not like so much? That’s a little tame. I hate gum.

2. Summer ~ When I was a kid, as soon as school started, I was looking forward to summer. Ah, the lazy days of sleeping in and laying around, watching cartoons, or reading a book. Summer means an entirely different thing when you’re an adult. I’m already practicing my ‘shut the door you’re letting all the cool air out’ mantra. When I worked outside the home, summer was an even harder obstacle. What to do with the kids while I was at work? Now that I’m home with them it’s a little different: What to do with the kids while I’m trying to work.

3. Dessert ~ Yeah, I can hear you now. “I still like dessert” and yeah, I do too, but not like I was a kid and the words calorie or fat grams wasn’t in my vocabulary. Oh to indulge without guilt…

 4. Grocery shopping ~ I used to love going grocery shopping with my grandma. If I was good, I always got a treat without even asking. Okay, fine. I always got a treat period. My grandma is just like that. I still remember riding on the bottom of the shopping cart while my sister sat in the basket (they were made different) Now I dread it. Meal planning? Yes; shopping for it? No. Too much time, too much money, too much mommy can I? I usually put it off until there is no milk and no bread, then I drag myself down to the store, 3 y/o in tow.

 5.  Swimming ~ I still enjoy swimming. But it isn’t the carefree thing it once was. Let’s forget for a moment the actual putting on of the bathing suit *shudder*. Now I must worry about sun screen on me and all five children and I am paranoid mucho aware of water safety. I have an eye on all the kids all of the time. I’m thankful I have one timid child, because the others see water and jump. Even after that, guess who cleans the pool? And it must be cleaned every day or the sunscreen will build up on the sides and … YUCK.

6. Sleeping outdoors ~ We camped out a lot when I was little. One summer we traveled across the western USA and I slept outside on a cot with a friend of mine (heel to head) every night. Besides the occasional swooping bat and coyote call, it was wonderful. Now when I think of sleeping on the ground, or out where bugs might crawl on me… yes, I’m completely sissified or citified or some kind of fied. Besides, my back hurts if I don’t have a mattress under me.

7. Staying up all night ~ Do you remember how fun it was to stay up on New Year’s Eve? I do. I even made it most of the time. Now sleep is the friend I don’t see often, or long, enough.

 

Okay, now it’s your turn. What is something you loved as a child, but not so much as you grew up. : )

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WINNER!!!

Tonight after dinner, we chose the winner of the wonderful preshrunk sized medium tee-shirt, by writing the names of those who commented on pieces of paper and letting D3 close her eyes and pick one. (D4 ran away, must have been the excitement)

Without further ado, the winner is:

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Just in case you can’t read that, it says “Crystal”

*please imagine a deep, male voice*

Yup, that’s right, Crystal Posey, you have won the beautiful preshrunk sized medium tee-shirt…. email me your address and I’ll send it to you. : ) And um, Crystal, if you take a picture of yourself (or anyone in your family) and post it on the Internet, I’ll send you a signed copy of the soon to be released, THE PRISONER.

 

Thank you, Sherry, for also playing!

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Weekend Gardener

As you know, if you’ve read this blog, I love to garden. One of my favorite things is to make bouquets of flowers in the garden by planting a combination of plants that compliment one another. These might not be flowering plants, it can be done with foliage too.

Some of my favorite combinations have been unplanned: deep purple and orange? Gorgeous in a garden.

Here are some planned and unplanned garden ‘bouquets’.

IMGP4812 This is one done entirely without flowers and I love how it looks.

IMGP4821The was was unplanned but I love how the pink flowers arch over the purple.

IMGP4822This photo doesn’t do these roses justice. I took the picture at the wrong time of day.

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There you have it. What’s your favorite?

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Friday Funnies

9 And the bus is solar powered?

02 Um.. yeah

4 No one spell-checked this?

6 .
I don’t know about you, but I’m not eating there.

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What goes in at my house in the morning. : )

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I decided to set up a schedule for my mornings in an attempt to get everything done that I need to get done. check list

Here it is.

 6:30-7:15 Email, blog, twitter

7:15-7:45 D2 to school

7:45-8:15 Get OB up and ready/get girl’s breakfast

8:15-9:15 Work

9:15-10:00 Housework

10:00-11:00 Time with girls

11:00-1:00 Lunch with Grandma

 

The first day of the schedule started on Tuesday.

 And this is what went wrong: Couldn’t fall asleep Monday night and 6:30 felt awwwful early. So I hit snooze and drove D4 to school. Even then I didn’t get back until. 8:05 Glanced at schedule. ‘Get OB ready’. This is actually a euphemism for spend time with boy. Only he didn’t corporate. Seems he’s about as much of a morning person as I am so we grunted at each other for a few minutes and then I walked him to school and got home a little after 8:30…

Okay writing time clock

 Now D4 is still sleeping. Do I wake her up to keep the schedule or do I write in undisturbed silence? What would you do? Me too. Only I remember how long it took me to get her to sleep the night before so I wake her up, get her breakfast and… there went the majority of my writing time. So I played on Twitter.

I started housework at 9:30 and even managed to get the girls to tidy up their room but by 10:15 when I told them it was time to do a craft project, they decided they needed a bath, really, really bad. So they took a bath. By the time I got them dressed it was 11:05 and I hadn’t made the lunches yet.

We got to the hospital around 11:45 I inhaled my food and then listened to my grandma and uncles tell me about her group therapy where she learned to eat slowly and swallow correctly..uh, yeah. (This is actually very important)

I did get home by 1:15

 

Things I forgot… shower.. after all that walking, kinda necessary, not scheduled anywhere.

Phone calls. Yeah, they keep a coming, don’t they?

Uncooperative children. Go ahead and tell your child that they must eat breakfast now because it’s on the schedule and no they can’t sit and veg in front of the TV all morning, it’s chore time, don’t you want to go clean your room while mommy cleans the house? Maybe yours take less coaxing than mine… wanna  trade. Kidding. No, really.

So what about my schedule? Sigh… I prefer to call it a suggestion now. A guide. : )

 

Okay. Your turn. What are some of your best laid plans that didn’t work out quite like you expected? Come on, I love me some comments.

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Yesterday I read a wonderful post at Romance University. C.J. Redwine, who is a talented and funny writer with a love for stilettos to match my own, blogged about the all-powerful hook. What it is and what it isn’t. She also gives a formula to identify your novel’s basic conflict… which you might want to know even before you get to query stage. : )

images2 C.J. These are for you. ; )

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Book Review

Okay, just a reminder as I took a tiny break. My goal with these reviews is not just to tell you if I liked the book– Chances are, if it’s here I liked it– but to tell you what I learned from the book, if anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no wizard, maybe even not that observant or knowledgeable when it comes to technique but I know when something works, or doesn’t… At least for me. I hope that’s enough of a caveat for you.

The Sunrise Lands by SM Stirling.The_sunrise_lands

It took me over two months to read this book. It never takes me that long to read a book.  To be fair, I read at least a half a dozen other books during that period and therein lays the problem. As soon as a new book came in, I put The Sunrise Lands down.

So the question I asked myself was why?

The writing is excellent. The premise… what can I saw about the premise? The only thing better is the world-building. Yes, folks, this is some of the best world building I have ever seen.

Imagine for a moment that one day all machines just stopped working. What would you do?

My first thought is I’d be okay. I have a large garden, I used to live on a farm, I’d be alright and then it struck me. Water pump.  Desert. Yeah, I’d be screwed.

So the world goes a little crazy. People in cities have no where and no knowledge of how to grow enough food to survive. People die on a massive scale. Some turn to cannibalism. So who survives? Well, without going in to great detail, people who have survival skills and a world view that will hold a community together. There is a band of people who have fashioned their society on Tolkien’s books. Yes, folks, the Dunedain again walk the earth but there are no elves. They made their journey two ages ago.  They speak Sindarin, which bugged me a little. It’s a cool concept and Sindarin works well for a written language but it’s not quite complete enough for spoken. (Yes, I’ve studied it.) Another group develops along the lines of ancient Celtic society including their religion. We have a society of people who happened to be drawn to King Arthur. The Catholic Church is still a power and there is a band of Mormons who survived as well as some ranchers… You get the idea.

But folks this is so well done, you don’t doubt it for a moment. Again, the best world building I’ve read in a long time.

So why did it take me two months to finish 450 pages? The plot. What is the plot you might ask and quite frankly, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

To be fair to the author, I later learned this was book four in the Emberverse series, but even then, you’d think it should stand on its own, it didn’t. This book was a section cut from a larger story and it read like that.

First we have the set up were we are introduced to the characters and the world.  Then the author lets you see that there is a mysterious something in the east that could have caused all of the machines to stop working.

Through dreams and a prophesy, it becomes apparent that Rudi, the heir to the MacKenzies (Celtic group) who lives in Oregon, must go to this mysterious something.

The something is actually pretty cool. In a flashback, we learn that once in contact with this thing, you can see all the possible futures your life might have taken had you made different choices. It’s enough to drive a person a mad.

So Rudi and 8 of his friends (nine is a good number for a quest) begin a trek from Oregon to the east coast.

Throw into the mix a really evil, insane, bad guy who is bent on world domination and you have the plot.

Spoiler: Rudi doesn’t’ make it there in this book. He’s alive, but they’re stuck in Boise, which has become the provisional capital of the Unites States of America.

So what did I learn? Balance. images

I can create the most believable, deep, detailed world but it’s only one leg of the chair. Write it well and I have two… but it still won’t hold my weight. I know some would read this book just for the beautiful description and the details but, for me, it dragged. As interesting as the background, I wanted to know about the characters, I wanted something to happen and as awesome as the writing. I have no desire to buy the next book, or even see if it’s in my library.

 It was like visiting a foreign country with a tour group. After a while you get tired of the guide’s drone, even articulated interesting drone, and you just want to go down that alley, discover what’s in that shop.

Well that’s it. Thank you for reading. : )

If you’ve read this book, or one like it, I’d love for you to leave a comment.

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