Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone a lovely time 

with friends and family 

celebrating whichever holiday you prefer.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Changed World Updates

First of all, for all of you who have asked - book 4, Lessons Learned, will be out January 18th. I will be having a cover reveal the week before - probably on January 10 if I can get all my ducks in a row.

The series is going wide. Scattered Seeds came out of Kindle Select earlier this month. My apologies to anyone that leaves in the lurch. Unfortunately, they all have different exit dates. Lethal Seasons comes out the 30th. A couple days after that, I hope to have both books available at all retailers. Gleanings comes out January 11th. Lessons Learned will go wide immediately.

So by the end of January, all of my books will be available all over. This is my most successful series so I have high hopes that sales will do well on other retailers.

I didn't do very well in the marketing department this year. As a result, December sales are looking rather grim. It's an ongoing experiment with a bumpy learning curve. I actually plotted out a game plan for next year. It will be interesting to see if I can stick to it. Having more books to work with makes it easier. And if I can stick to my writing plan as well, I should have 3 more by the end of 2018.

Fingers crossed!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Now on Google Play!

In my transition to getting all my books with all the retailers, I have conquered Google Play. For a look at all of my books now available there, click here. I will be loading individual links into the website today.

A Changed World series is still exclusive to Amazon through mid-January. As soon as the term runs out on all the books, I will be loading them into other retailers. Which will be just in time for the release of book 4 - Lessons Learned - which is coming out on January 18th.

This year has been a peculiar one with a lot of writing and only 1 book published. That leaves me with a lot of work in the hopper. I hope to get at least 3 books published next year, but I won't make promises. Sometimes life just gets in the way.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Maps and Things

I finally put together a map for A Changed World. It's nothing fancy, but it does have all the important bits on it. It is on my website under A Changed World Extras. I also explain the new currency that they are using. There will be more coming in the Extras category.

For Transmutation, I put a list of Houses in the Extras. I'll start working on a map of the Four Rings soon.

I have a map in the works for Lands of Haroon. It needs a few finishing touches before I can post it.

The rough draft for book 4 in A Changed World is chugging along towards a release date of January 18th. The title will be Lessons Learned. Alex Storer is working on another wonderful cover for me.

And that's the latest. Now back to work.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Dreaded Typo

It wasn't so much a typo as it was the entirely wrong word.

When I set up Charade to publish on Amazon, I put the wrong word in the series name. Sheesh. Instead of Transmutation, I put Transformation. And off it went, book 2 in a series that didn't exist. I didn't even notice until a friend alerted me. (Thanks, Alex!) I scurried out there to change it, but most of the promos for book 1 had already occurred. Argh.

Hmmm. I wonder if that hurt the sales at all? (Where's that satirical emoji?)

I was wondering why the "Books in the Series" didn't pop up on the product page. Sigh.

Live and learn, I suppose. This book has had its issues. I don't know why it's been so hard to get this one out the gate. I'm a little disappointed with how poorly this series is doing. Maybe I just need to wait until book 3 is out. Or I have to get a little more imaginative with my marketing.

Ah, the ever changing marketing game. I tried the same system that worked so well on the release of Gleanings. Crickets. I guess it's a different audience. Just because I read both genres doesn't mean readers of one series will cross over to the other.

There is always something new to learn.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Charade Release Day!

Here's a great trailer that Alex made for me.

But I'm a little late using it because Charade is available today! For a limited time, Charade will be 99c. So snag yours now.

This series is going wide, which means it will be available at all ebooks retailers. Click here for links to your favorite retailer.

Facade, book 1, will be discounted to 99c thru November 13th. Click here for links to your favorite retailer.

If you want to be alerted to my future book releases, please sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar. I only send it out for discounts and releases.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cover Reveal and Presale of Charade

There is a cover reveal and interview for Charade over at SFFWorld today. Click here to see it.

Charade is now available for presales on Amazon. Click here to get yours now. The ebook will be 99c until the release on the 26th.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

All the Loose Ends

I watched the end of a miniseries last night that left me with a lot of questions.

It was an interesting set up in that the main mystery was actually a red herring. The internal mystery was wrapped up happily, but not much else.

One character is very intriguing. Just as you get to know him, he commits a murder. Further on, he confesses to another character. This is a major revelation and goes nowhere. I couldn't help thinking of the burden he placed on his friend. The murder would never be solved. And it was committed with such aplomb that the viewer is left to wonder if it was his first. There's a whole story right there.

Several of the characters acted badly. I was left wondering what would happen in their lives now that they'd destroyed their careers. More loose ends.

Or maybe this was a good show because the characters are still with me. I want to know what happens next. I want to see them go on to the next chapter in their lives.

Maybe I will need to write it.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

My Ducks are Lining Up

Charade is being proofread this week. I am very excited to get this book out the door. It has been a tough one, but I learned a lot along the way.

SFFWorld has kindly agreed to do another cover reveal for me. It will go up Wednesday, October 18th, as Charade goes up for pre-sale on Amazon.

This series is going wide, so it will be available on all retailers in October. The first book of the series, Facade, will drop out of Kindle Select on October 15th. As soon as I have all the new links, they will be posted to the website for one-stop shopping. It will still be available on Amazon, just not exclusive to that retailer.

If you are on my mailing list, you will get a sneak peek of the cover a day early.

The next book in A Changed World series is coming along very well. I'm about 34,000 words into the rough draft. It's all falling into place nicely. Ah, what a delight it is when you're healthy and your brain works properly. I've been able to write this one a bit faster, but it's still looking like a December release date. I will update that if there are any changes.

When book 4 of A Changed World goes out to the beta readers, I will get back to work on the first book of the Lands of Haroon which will be a series of stand-alones in the same world.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Almost There

Book 2 of the Transmutation series is almost done. Finally. It even has a name now - Charade. This was a tough one for a bunch of reasons that have nothing to do with the story. For some reason my system failed. I sputtered and stuttered to a stop and the writing fell flat.

A big thank you to my beta readers for taking me to task on all the problems that needed to be resolved.

Happily, the third rewrite was the charm. I am getting positive feedback from my final reader. Then it goes to line editing. I am setting the release date for October 26.

Now I can set up the cover reveal and some promos for the release date.

And while I am waiting for the final reader to finish Charade, I am writing the beginning chapters to book 4 of A Changed World.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

It's All Relative

My sales numbers for yesterday were awful. I thought to myself - this is the worst day ever. But it wasn't. It was just a slow day. I made a couple dollars. Not a lot, but still something. When I started out, there were weeks of no sales. I've gotten spoiled.

I've sold over 1,000 books so far this year. In all of 2016 I sold 1200. That means I will probably sell more this year than last. That's progress.

And I haven't released anything this year. Grrr. I spent way too much time on the first book in a new series that I had to put on the back burner because it had too many problems. Which made me start late on book 2 of Transmutation which had its own issues and is still in rewrite. And that backs up the start of book 4 for A Changed World.

I've done a little marketing, all of which boosted things for a bit. But it all comes down to putting out new work. I have an awful lot in the hopper...they're just not quite ready to be released.

So another short post so I can get back to work.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Bad Guy's Point of View

I started reading book 2 of a new series and gave up after a couple chapters. Book 1 was about the main character. Book 2 was building up the bad guys to set up an inevitable confrontation. I have discovered that most of the time I don't like reading about the bad guys.

A few years back while I was sampling new authors I found a book with a villain so vile that I quit reading immediately. I did not want to spend any time in that twisted person's mind. Nor did I want any description of the bloodbath he'd left behind. (shiver)

Maybe that's what makes first person books so popular - no foray into the mind of the antagonist?

Daniel Abraham's The Dagger and The Coin series has a wonderful antagonist who doesn't mean to be evil, he just makes really bad choices. I find that kind of bad guy fascinating. He's doing all the wrong things for the right reasons.

When an antagonist is over the top, I tend to skim those chapters, eager to get back to my favorite characters. It's a hard balance to create characters that are interesting and antithetical to one another. Too often authors cheat a little with a cardboard, cliche villain. I've been called on it a couple times by my beta readers (Thanks!). When I work a bit harder at figuring out who the bad guy is and what he really wants, it makes for a much better story.

But I don't like writing about them any more than reading about them. I tend to use the reaction of the characters I prefer, rather than the action of the antagonist.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Garden Stress

This may sound silly, but I get stressed when my garden is in stress. If it's too hot or too dry or too cold or needs weeding, I feel like I've let it down. And all of that is happening right now.

The vegetable garden needs weeding. I can't keep up with the string beans, and I am picking every other day. The tomatoes are showing signs of blight. My favorite drying tomato gave up the fight leaving me with only a handful of half-ripe tomatoes.

The perennial beds are sprouting weeds and the old flower stalks need to be cut. I thought I had conquered them this year, but they are starting to careen out of control.

I hired a guy to cut down the briers and pull vines and he failed. He clear cut part of the yard taking out rose bushes, daylilies, sedum, irises, peonies, gladiolas, hosta and whatever else was hiding under the weeds. I wasn't sure whether I was going to cry or look for a weapon.

And it's been really hot. Which means I need to work in the garden first thing in the morning. And to be honest that doesn't always happen. So by the time I've had my coffee and woken up properly, it's too hot to work out there.

If it's hot and we don't get rain then I need to get out there and water everything. That takes a little more time from all the other things I should be writing. But I can't let the poor little guys suffer. It's not like they can move into the shade if they're too dry. I'm responsible for them.

I won't mention the mosquitoes or the yellow jacket nest I just found...

Luckily it's raining now. That's a perfect excuse for not weeding.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

She Killed My Favorite Character


I won't give any spoilers, but a favorite author killed a favorite character and I found it very unsatisfying.

Sometimes characters need to die. I suppose this might be a good place for him to end, but I didn't like it. Part of it is because I didn't want that character to end. I would have been happy to keep reading his adventures until he was old and feeble. But part of it is the way he died. It was ugly and undeserving.

I feel let down by the author. I have been a loyal fan and wanted some sort of reward for that long suffering character. Instead she gave him a nasty death and a long maudlin goodbye. Didn't work for me.

I went back to read some reviews of that book, and to find others who felt the same way. One person made a list of inconsistencies in the story, and after seeing them, I agree. A few lessons to learn here as a writer. As a reader, I am just disappointed and wondering if I want to read whatever comes next.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Emptying My Head

I thought it was all in there.

The problem with beta readers who already know a story is that they can understand inferences that aren't well explained.

Fortunately, not all my beta readers know this story in its various incarnations.

I'm getting feedback that tells me I didn't get everything out of my head and on to the paper. Of course I know why this character did that, but apparently I never shared the reasons behind the action. Which means I need to go back and add some backstory or build up. Dang.

When I go back through the scenes and realize what's been left out, it seems obvious. But until someone tells me what to look for, I don't see it. I know the story and the characters too well.

Thank goodness for my beta readers!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Reading Out of the Comfort Zone

Every now and then I try to pick up new authors / stories / series.

As an author, looking for new readers, I hope this gives me some karma points. But it's also a way to expand my personal horizons.

As an experiment, sometimes it works out and sometimes meh. Since the explosion of Indies on the market, there are a lot more niches out there. Back in the stone age, when books were curated by publishers, the oddball niches were weeded out. Now there are so many I can't keep up.

I recently fell into a pile of magic/science fiction books. Wow. And very cool. I plan to work my way through them as Facade sort of falls into that category. I was trying to figure out some marketing when I discovered them. And as a treat, I get to read  all my competition. Although, not all of them are true comparables.

Having all these niches and sub-sub-categories can get very confusing. I look at the books listed and sometimes they don't fit at all. That could be authors squeezing their book into a more popular category for better discovery. But that's a bad idea, because if I want a magic / science fiction book and they give me space marines, I'm not going to be happy.

So I am still experimenting with the marketing. Still learning new things all the time. And this time, I get to enjoy myself along the way.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

If You've Read It, Please Review It

That's a request for all readers and all books by any author.

Reviews are so important for an Indie author. Aside from letting other readers know how you felt about the book, it creates a benchmark for advertising.

There are some advertisers that use the number of reviews as a cutoff point. Since they are inundated daily with authors signing up their books, they need a simple rule of thumb to cut down on the sludge. My mysteries are well liked, but lack reviews, so they aren't admissible. As a result, I can't use a lot of the better advertisers. So they don't get a lot of notice.

So if you like a book, leave a review. It's important!

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Bunny War

They started it.

It's been a weird year weather-wise. Spring was too warm or too cold. Tender perennials that I expected to die out - didn't. Even though we went down below 10 degrees things came back that shouldn't have.

The spring vegetables didn't like the hot days. The warm weather vegetables are hating the cold rainy days. We have had a lot of cold rainy days followed by hot dry days that wilt everything in the garden.

So that's my excuse for forgetting. The weather has been all wrong. And I forgot to fence the beans.

Now I knew the bunny had been nibbling on the peas. I had to fence them and put in more seed where they had been pruned. And I had an inkling that the arugula bed had taken a hit. It was looking rather spotty. But today I went out to check the garden and my lovely beans looked like lollypop sticks.

Someone had eaten the tops off of every one. I don't think they can survive that, but I'll give them a chance. Fencing them now is like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, but it's up now. If there's no new growth, I'll just have to re-seed the bed.

Dang rabbits.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Slow Going

I've been planning a big family reunion for over a year now. It finally happened last weekend. And relatives came in early to check out the lovely town I live in. So I had company for five days straight with a big party in the middle.

It was fabulous. I caught up with a lot of cousins and met new ones. Everyone had a great time. We all came together for a happy occasion and this started a tradition that I hope will continue. The next one, in 2019, is penciled in now.

However, the day after the last guest left I was a zombie. It took me two days to catch up on my sleep. Apparently, I spent a lot of time standing because my feet and legs felt like I'd run a marathon. And I pulled a muscle in my back trying to wrestle the compost pile into a more seemly shape. (Like anyone would notice?)

Needless to say, I didn't do much writing. But all the stress is gone now, so I plan to write harder. My deadlines are shot, but they are just there for me to aim for. It's more important to fix the book than to meet some arbitrary due date.

When I opened up the WIP yesterday it felt really good to get back into my routine. I feel like I've had a vacation. My mind is clear and my energy is good. Now I need to get back at it.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Back in the Groove

I found the missing subplot in my WIP. Now I just have to layer it into what I've already written. And that means a lot of cutting scenes and rearranging them. Which gets confusing when you know the whole story because you can accidentally refer to stuff that won't happen for another chapter or two because it used to happen earlier.

As I'm fixing/rewriting scenes I see the stuff that really didn't fit. Putting this subplot back in makes everything work so much better. I had tossed in a mini-plot that sort of made sense, because I knew it needed something, but it never really meshed. It implied a larger theme that I had taken out because that didn't work either. So dragging in a piece of it just made a bigger mess.

It's going a bit slower than I had hoped. Although I know what needs to happen, I have to figure out how to introduce it into the world in a logical manner. In the great doorstop it was a major info-dump that ran a whole chapter. Yikes. Now I not only want to avoid that kind of delivery of information, I also want to delay the full disclosure and extend the mystery. So in addition to the action, I need to weave the information in slowly.

And that means writing, which I need to go do now.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A New Look

I've cleaned up the blog a little because I will soon have the new website up and running.

I am still having a little technical kerfuffle with the website. It's done. It looks great - Thanks, Alex! BUT somehow I just haven't clicked the right boxes or pushed the right buttons because it isn't working. Soon...maybe.

That means the blog has reverted to its blogger address. So reset those bookmarks. will now go to the website (whenever the dang thing sorts itself out).

I've spent hours playing with Wizards - the setup kind, not the magical fun kind. There's a whole jargon that goes with this stuff that I have to keep looking up, and even when I find the definition, I'm not sure if it applies to me. Especially when the instructions are written for someone who probably knows what they're doing. And I most assuredly don't! Sigh.

I can't say it's been a learning curve because I haven't mastered anything.

I really do feel like a dinosaur today.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Back to the Drawing Board!

I got Transmutation #2 back from First Reader with a big fat note - this doesn't sound like you.

Curious. I was struggling a little with this one. Every day when I sat down to write, I was forcing myself to concentrate on the book. But when I started A Changed World #4, I was having a great time. That should have told me something.

The Transmutation series is based on a very old story with a million characters and dozens of side plots that ramble off in every direction. While trying to slim it down, I'd taken the heart out of it. While I was writing, I started having serious doubts that First Reader confirmed. It's kinda boring.

So I did some thinking about who and what and why. This book was a little too rambling and repetitive because I felt like I needed more time to spread out events and didn't have a subplot in place to make that work.

There's a lot from the original doorstop that just doesn't work anymore and needs to be ditched. But certain plot points are critical to get the story to the important events. I couldn't figure out what to toss and what to keep.

After a lot of juggling I discovered the missing piece, I hope. When I sat down to do the rewrite, I was having a lot more fun. That's got to be a good thing! So I think I'm only behind by a week or so.

Now, back to that rewrite!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Changed World Series - Book #4

While book 2 of the Transmutation (Space Opera) series is with my first reader, I've started outlining the next book in A Changed World Series (Post Apocalyptic).

I like all of my characters, but I have to say that it was fun to visit with Wisp and Nick and Angus and Tillie. I haven't seen them in awhile and they have been very busy. This is a world that I've grown very comfortable with.

Book 4 will be a continuation of life at High Meadow, but a few months after the end of Gleanings. I've got some loose plot ideas that I need to sort out. And I've got a bunch of new people who need to be integrated into the storyline. Plus there are some loose threads from the previous books that I need to coordinate.

I'm shooting for a release in the fall, barring any complications.

I've been trying to stay on top of my allergies so that my writing isn't impacted. Since I learned that "powering thru" only gives me a lot of stuff to rewrite, I've avoided writing on days I have brain fog.

Hopefully, I won't need too much rewriting when I hear back from my first reader on Transmutation #2. The quicker I can wrap that one up, the faster I get to work on A Changed World #4.

So--on to marketing.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Space Opera and Mystery for 99c

I've got a couple books on discount.

Space Opera - The first book in the Transmutation series, Facade, is on sale at 99c. Book 2 will be coming out in a month or so. I'm just wrapping it up for my 1st reader. It is only available on Amazon so you can get it thru Kindle Unlimited also. Grab it here

Mystery - The first book in the Asher Blaine Mysteries, White Lies, is also on sale at 99c. It is available all over. Here are some of the major retailers:

Amazon      Barnes and Noble     Kobo     Apple

These books are sorely lacking in reviews. I would love it if anyone would add their honest review on the site where they bought it.

And now I need to get back to tossing words into the computer.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Genealogical Rabbit Hole

It happened again. I meant to just look into one thing and suddenly I've lost the whole day.

Sometimes while tracking down stories of my ancestors I get so involved in chasing one more clue that I totally lose track of time.

A nibble on land records in the 1800s and a nibble in the newspapers and I'm gone for hours hunting down someone that might not even be related to me. And two days later I know their complete life story and it has no relation to my family at all.

I have a genealogical "brick wall". That's an ancestor I can't get past. I know the county in Ireland where he was born and a marriage record, so I should be happy with that, but I'm always trying to give it a nudge. He came over during the Potato Famine years and a lot of those records were lost.

It's frustrating because there is so much information available. And I am willing to page through old documents online, but they often don't have the dates I need.

Which leaves me behind on everything this week because I went a little overboard on the research.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Winter Arrived

After a crazy warm winter, we had a dose of the arctic. Ouch.

Fruit trees have flowered a month early. Last night it went down to 16 degrees. Needless to say, we aren't getting any apricots this year. Luckily my cherry and apple trees hadn't flowered yet.

But that's just my little patch. I'm not a fruit farmer. Some of them have lost their entire crop for this year.

We get to go to the grocery store and pick out fruit that comes in from all over the world. I don't think it sinks in until you see the reports on the news about how devastating this can be. The county south of me is mostly apple orchards. The year we had the Easter freeze they lost them all. It was considered a natural disaster and they were able to apply for aid.

It's hard to understand in a time when food is readily available for most of us, how fragile farming is. Fruit trees won't rebloom. A crop wiped out by flood or tornado can't always be resown. We have become spoiled with ease of access. If one farm or orchard fails, we can get produce from another. Maybe.

By Sunday we will be back to short-sleeve weather. But the damage has already been done.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Little Stressed Out

There's a lot going on right now and it has me feeling more than a little stressed.

The renovations on the house are coming along nicely but... I work at home. Power tools in the background are hard to block out. I'm used to being on my own with the three cats. Having a man or two banging around the house is a distraction. I'm torn between trying to ignore them and feeling guilty for not making them lunch. (My family feeds all guests.)

As a result, I'm not getting as much work done as I would like. I had planned to have the current WIP to my first reader by now. Not going to happen. That changes the schedules for everything else I've planned this year. Bummer.

The crazy spring weather has made things worse.

First, my allergies went on overload. I'm still tinkering with combinations of medication to get things under control. Brain fog, sinus headaches, eyes so itchy I've scratched them raw, congestion like concrete. So I have a swollen raccoon face and can't breathe. Ugh.

Second, warm weather means yard work. I've been working in the yard pretty regularly ripping out the honeysuckle and briars that are strangling everything else. And I only got a small patch of poison ivy on one arm so far... But I keep thinking that I am behind schedule because of May weather in February. I was all ready to start putting seed in when I remembered what month it was. Sheesh.

So today is catch up day. I need to review the marketing and redo my writing deadlines and, oh yeah, WRITE!

Thursday, February 23, 2017


I haven't got much to say, so I thought I'd turn the blog over to the girls.

Mallory has been working out on my trampoline.

Rascal has been helping me with some paperwork.

And Bertie has been keeping an eye on the plants in the sunroom.

As you can see - all very busy.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Busy Month

February is a busy month. Lots of promotions going on.

Starting this weekend! Here's a great place to grab a bunch of great books:

If you're looking for some space opera with aliens and a lost civilization, hop over to  Patty's website to get Facade for 99c.

If you haven't yet started my post-apocalyptic series - A Changed World - you're in luck. Lethal Seasons, book 1 will be free on Amazon from 2/15 - 2/19. (Regular price until 2/14 and after 2/19) Book 4 is coming out this fall.

And if you're looking for a good mystery, White Lies is still 99c through the end of the month.


In the mean time, I am still working hard on the sequel to Facade. As is the way with these things, the story is not coming out as originally intended, but in a much better way. Some random events have come together in a surprising serendipity of plot lines. I need to follow it down a bit more before I commit to it entirely, but it's looking good.

I'm jotting down notes for the 4th book in A Changed World. Fear not, Angus, Tillie, Wisp and Nick will be back this fall.

And the fantasy book is on back burner while I think about how much more needs to go into it.

So I'd better get back to work!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

White Lies Only 99 Cents

I am experimenting with having my mysteries "wide", that is at various retailers instead of exclusive to Amazon. To launch this, I lowered the price on the White Lies ebook to 99cents. You can now find it online at Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo and others in addition to Amazon.

The market keeps changing and I am doing my best to stay abreast of it. New opportunities for advertising pop up and get overrun in no time. The author blogs and forums that I follow usually tout the latest trend and warn when it is no longer effective. But it all still feels like I'm running uphill in loose sand.

And it all comes down to product, which I am told, I need a lot more of, so I'm off to do writing.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Naomi Novik - My New Favorite Author

I don't remember where I read a review or recommendation of her book Uprooted. But it intrigued me enough to check it out. I liked her writing, enjoyed the book and went looking for more. That's when I discovered her dragon books.

The Temeraire series could probably be summed up as the Napoleonic Wars with dragons. But if I had read that, I wouldn't have tried it. Alternate histories are not something I read very often. The characters are the heart of the series and what has made me love it. There are battles and some interesting history along the way. (Not sure how much is true.)

I've been plowing through the series, book after book, quite gleefully. I discovered the other day that book 9 is the last book. I will be very curious to see how it is all wrapped up. Right now I am in the middle of book 6. I might need to slow down a little, now that I know it has an end.

Some of the books have more battles than others. I have to admit to skimming those parts a bit. Especially if my favorite characters aren't front and center.

The thing that constantly amazes me is the time it takes to travel or get news. A journey from England to Africa is said to take months. Letters can only travel as fast as a ship or a horse (or courier dragon!) can get them there. Moving troops and supplies and ships is an endeavor of weeks or months. Everything happens at a slower pace because it has to and plans must be drawn up a year in advance.

So if you're looking for a great dragon series, look her up.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rollercoaster Weather

Last weekend we got 5" of snow. Today I was out working in the garden in my shirt sleeves. We went from a couple of nights in the single digits to days so warm the shrubs are budding.

When the temperature plummeted I started to complain, only to remember -- it's January! It's supposed to be cold. We've had such a mild winter that I hadn't even broken out the big coat yet. When I got ready to shovel snow, I had to dig around to find a pair of mittens because I hadn't used any so far this season.

The weather man delights in showing us the diagram of how we have been either colder or warmer than average. Consistently. Which I guess eventually leads to new averages, right?

My forsythia put out a few timid blooms just before the big freeze. As if to ask, "Is it time yet?" I noticed on my walk today that many of the trees have gotten knobby with buds. That's too soon for this area. Well, normally that is.

And our Big Freeze lasted less than a week...

I expect another dose of cold weather that will last a little longer. And I expect it to hit just when everything decides it's okay to bloom.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Reader's Block

Argh! It's happened again, that dastardly reader's block.

I read a lot of books. Ever since I was a child, I've always carried around a book I was working my way through. I would get stacks of books out of the library knowing I would have read them all by the time they were due. My parents always had books, too.

But every now and then I get stuck. I'm just not ready to immerse myself in a new world. I'd rather play endless games of solitaire or surf the net. Maybe it's a lack of focus. Too much caffeine? Sunspots?

It's frustrating because I just got a gift card and I'm eager to load up the Kindle. I've started a new wishlist in Amazon called "Series Next". I've added all the next books in the many, many series I'm reading so I can easily find them. And it's a reminder of what/who all those series and authors are.

So now I can go to my "Series Next" list and decide which characters I want to visit. Fantasy? Science Fiction? Urban Fantasy? Mystery? Whichever I pick, I'll have to remember to add the next book (unless it isn't written yet) so I won't lose track.

I'm sure I've forgotten a couple of series. When I am reading I tend to plow through books pretty quickly. Especially if a series is complete. I should go through my Goodreads lists.

I did read a book last week. Killing Rites - book 3 in the Black Sun Series by M L N Hanover (Daniel Abraham). Normally I wouldn't pick up a book with a sexy female on the cover, but I love all of his other books, so I gave it a try. It's a funky kind of Urban Fantasy that immediately appealed to me. Despite the sexy pose on the cover, there is very little in the way of romance in the story line. Which is the way I prefer it. I'm eager to read book 4.

And maybe I just talked myself out of my block!