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text 2018-08-03 18:31
A Drift of Quills for August 2018

 

As is typical, the summer months here in the north-country are quickly flying by. With August upon us, we’ve already lost, since the summer solstice, almost a full hour of sunlight per day. (So sad . . .) Still, this is a good time to reflect on the issue we Quills are pondering this month, which is: when we are away from the writing desk, what do we do? What gardening or improvement projects keep us busy? Are they inspirational? Do they help us to focus? Or ... ?

I'll go first, then present posts from my fellow Quills, Robin Lythgoe and P.S. Broaddus.

 

I used to be quite a gardener. I had a huge plot. I can’t even estimate its size. I grew berries, beans, corn, squash, melons, peas, and on and on. Admittedly, even at the best of times, I tended to lose a fair amount of my crop because I couldn’t eat it in time and wasn’t big on storing methods (although drying herbs or beans was always a hit with me). (That said, I usually had an abundance. Don't believe me? Check the pic here of just one wheelbarrow full of tomatoes from one year.)

 

 

Also, in truth, I lost some crop to overzealous weeds that would come along about the same time that I threw my hands up and nearly quit, as I was no longer having fun.

But I don’t garden like that anymore ... ​

 

Now that I've unloaded, I'm anxious to hear what Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, has to share with us. Well, Robin? What's your current non-writing artistic (or other) outlet?

 

 

My writing desk follows me everywhere. Virtually, anyway. Overheard conversations make good fodder for dialogue. A turn of phrase from a television show or movie often suggests an entire scene or plot point. I realized during a discussion about some people in my life that one of them in particular would make a fantastic model for a character. (No, I will not say whether protagonist or antagonist!)

I try to jot these ideas down on my phone, but sometimes I really have to tell my desk to go to its room and give me a break. Have you ever noticed that not thinking about a thing is like a magic solution for finding an answer to it?

“Whim” has often been the instigator ...

 

And finally, we hear from P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse. What say you, Parker?

 

 

I don't often get the question, "What keeps you busy?" That's usually because I have three little boys running around and through my legs. I also work as a full time real estate agent, running my own business and managing property for myself and others. I have a master's degree in film, but I've taken a step back from film production and editing to give more time to my love of writing.

And while I enjoy real estate and homes and remodeling and flipping, that isn't necessarily where I get inspiration or rest. I don't garden - the wonderful wood nymph I married is in charge of that department. Likewise, film and film editing is work - enjoyable work, but work nonetheless.

There are a couple of things I do that fill me up, that aren't work, and sometimes even provide inspiration and encouragement ...

 

How about you? What’s your project de jure (or de l’annee, or even de la decennie, as the case may be)?

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text 2018-06-08 22:06
A Drift of Quills for June 2018

 

Somehow, I manage quite frequently to miss sharing on Booklikes when my fellow Quills and I publish a new joint-blog post. I'll try to do better going forward . . . In any case, this time our topic is whether we finish books we hate. Do you want to guess in advance what each of us said? Be sure to click on the links for each of us, below, so as to get the rest of each of our stories.

Now, in truth, I can't imagine my fellow Quill, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, reading anything to the bitter end that she doesn't very much like. But perhaps I'm wrong . . .

Well, Robin?

 

 

 

We’ve all come across them—those books that are so badly written you wonder if the author was even an earthling. Or, assuming that they weren’t hatched on another planet, if they bothered to attend grade school. Or if they live in a sensory deprivation chamber and have no freaking idea what the real world is like. The first pages of such a book are usually painful. Do you risk the agony of finishing the entire book? You want to know my philosophy?

 

P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, do you read things to the bitter end? Even when you hate them? I suspect you might be a bit more likely to do so than Robin, although I can't put my finger on why I think that might be . . . Am I right or am I wrong?

 

 

What to do with a book you hate? Or, even worse, a book that was just, 'meh.' It doesn't even warrant the energy of hurling it against the opposite wall. It barely deserves a sigh and a shrug, and certainly won't get a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Too much effort for a story that simply didn't captivate.  So what do you do with that story? Are you a finisher? A staller? Or a tosser?

 

Does anyone want to guess what I'll say, in advance? Do I read things to the bitter end, or do I not? What do you think? Well, here goes . . .

 

 

Do I finish books that I start, but hate? I can answer this question with a single title: Moby Dick. I found it utterly incomprehensibly, annoyingly, mind-bogglingly boring, and odd—and downright awful. I hated it. Nothing anyone could say about a color or its significance, or what the author may have intended that color may have symbolized, could resurrect this title for me. I found a solid 70% of the work to be complete nonsense. Lest I be mistaken, let me put it simply: I truly and completely abhor this work. Perhaps more than any other I’ve ever read. So . . .

 

Please do join us again next time when we'll share some more (new) flash fiction. Later, then!

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review 2018-05-02 06:31
Trust
The President's Daughter - Micky O'Brady

 

Alix has had so much taken from her.  Her body is not the same.  Her relationships with others' are not the same.  Her feelings about herself and what she can accomplish are not the same.  But all of this is about to change.

 

Sam and Ian are men in her life that help her in some way.  Whether it be emotional, physical, or mental - they both serve a purpose.  She cares about both of them deeply.  The question now remains, who can help her move on to her future?

 

This book was fast paced and exciting!  I loved every page and devoured it like candy.  I think the characters themselves are deep and rich.  I love the setting, it gives the writer a lot to enrich the story for the reader.  The book overall was one of the best I have ever read.  I am so excited for the next installment to this new heart thumping series.  I give this a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publishers.

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review 2018-04-19 16:46
The Faraday Files Book #3: The Heartreader's Secret
The Heartreader's Secret - Kate McIntyre
The Timeseer's Gambit (The Faraday Files Book 2) - Kate McIntyre
The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre

Outstanding yet again! The Faraday Files is one of my most favorite series! The 1900s alternate steampunk London (Darrington City) and the diverse cast of characters found a place in my heart in Kate Mcintyre's debut, The Deathsniffer's Assistant, and I've been watching the characters struggle and cry, laugh and grow, sacrifice and persevere ever since. 


The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre 

 

But before I get into my review of Kate's newest release, book three, The Heartreader's Secret, I'd like to give you a brief overview of the first two books.

 

In the first book, The Deathsniffer's Assistant, we're introduced to the very eccentric and hard-hearted Olivia Faraday, a Deathsniffer (someone who hunts murderers) and her overly sensitive assistant, Christopher Buckley, a WordWeaver (transcribes thoughts directly to page).

Chris and his sister, Rosemary recently lost both of their parents in the Floating Castle accident and Chris has had to take on the responsibility of not only raising Rosemary but trying to keep her safe and out of the hands of the enemy that want to harness her unique and very strong gifts. Chris and Rosemary have been living on the savings that their wealthy parents left them but the money is starting to run out so Chris has to find a job to support them. He's never had to work before so he has absolutely no experience doing anything and Olivia Faraday, who's in need of an assistant to help with her investigations, is the only employer willing to take him on. So there begins the start of an unexpected but fond and spirited comradeship...

 

The Timeseer's Gambit (The Faraday Files Book 2) - Kate McIntyre 


In book two, The Timeseer's Gambit, Olivia and Chris have their hands full hunting for someone using bound elementals to kill young priests and trying to find evidence to save Dr. Francis Livingstone who's been falsely accused and is now standing trial for the thousands of deaths caused by the falling of the Floating Castle. In his personal life Chris is struggling with his sexual identity and the mixed feelings he has for both Rachel Albany and his childhood friend, Will.

 


The Heartreader's Secret - Kate McIntyre 


Then we come to Kate's newest masterpiece, The Heartreader's Secret. Chris's attraction to both Rachel and Will come to a roaring head in this book. We get an in-depth view of how conflicted Chris is with his sexual identity. He really struggles with reconciling his real feelings with his need to conform to society's expectations. On top of that, Emilia, a very brilliant engineer, poc and girlfriend to one of Chris and Olivia's good friends, Maris, has gone missing. Maris, a police officer, is absolutely devastated and she's convinced that something bad has happened to Emilia. On Maris's request, Chris and Olivia travel to the last place Emilia was working which happens to be Olivia's childhood home, Miller's farm. They've traveled under the guise of investigating the suicide of one the stable hands so as not to alert potential suspects that they're on their trail. As Chris and Olivia search for clues to Emilia's dissapearance, we also get a front row seat to the discord between Olivia and her mother and we learn the real reason why Olivia has given up her family legacy to be a Deathsniffer.

So that's a little background on the series thus far. It'a a spectacular series and each book just gets better and better! If you like mysteries with a dash of steampunk, then you should really give this series a try. I guarantee Darrington City and its diverse and eccentric inhabitants will reel you in like they did me!

*I received this ARC from the publisher, Curiosity Quills Press, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

 

 

AMAZON

 

 GOODREADS 

 

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text 2018-04-15 05:40
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Heartreader's Secret - Kate McIntyre

This series is soooo good! I hate that I finished the book already. Now I have to wait for book #4. : (  Review to Come...

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