About Me

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I've been writing since I could first hold a pencil, and by all accounts I didn't limit myself to paper. Walls, tablecloths and the occasional sibling were all fair game, and it shouldn't be surprising to learn that markers were banned in my home with all due haste. Although I now content myself with inconveniencing electrons, the desire to bring the stories in my mind to life hasn't waned. In my spare time, I read, putter in the kitchen, and relax on my terrace or at the lake, weather permitting, with my corgi who strives to be part muse, part food disposal. I'm also addicted to coffee and have a close relationship with my Keurig.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Into This River I Drown by TJ Klune

Into This River I DrownInto This River I Drown by T.J. Klune
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't think I can find enough superlatives for TJ Klune. This is the fourth book I've read by him, and once again, I'm absolutely in awe of his lucid prose, and his utterly human characters.

Benji Green is drowning, in grief, in regrets, in life. He mourns his late father, Big Eddie, with a ferocity I can understand. I lost my father five years ago, and I still talk to him. I keep an old phone so I can re-read his texts. I completely understand Benji.

Benji's need calls down his town's guardian angel, Calliel, who is impossible, and improbable, all at once. He is also impeccably human at his core, and he loves with all the innocence of a child, and all the ferocity of heaven.

There are plots, and sub threads, and I won't spoil them. There is nothing simple in this book, but I could not, or more accurately would not put it down.

Read this book, if you believe in love, and even more so if you need your faith in the power of love restored.

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Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Dead Book - D.M. Pulley

The Buried BookThe Buried Book by D.M. Pulley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read the book because I'd read, and loved, The Dead Key. It was a wise choice on my part.

To put it simply, I could not put this book down. I needed to find out, along with Jasper, what had happened to his mom, and I needed to know with an urgency which kept me up way too late.

The author does a wonderful job capturing the prevailing opinions and mood of the period in which the story takes place. I'm sure many readers will find the overt bigotry of some of the characters uncomfortable, but at the time, it would not have raised an eyebrow. Kudos to D.M. Pulley for not sanitizing history.

I will go back and read this book again. It's one of those books I won't forget.

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Friday, April 6, 2018

The Ocean at the End of the Lane review

The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was astonishing, and completely engrossing. Maybe because I was one of those bookish kids myself, happier in my fantasy worlds than in the real world. Maybe it was because even in the heart of a bustling city, you can still feel alone.

The nameless narrator reminded me of so many things from my own youth, not the least of which was how much I would have wanted to be like Lettie-fearless and independent. The juxtaposition of his home life, with the discord between him and his father, and the affair with Ursula behind his mother's back, and the welcoming warmth of the Hempstock farm creates the sort of tension in a reader that keeps you turning pages. The language is almost lyrical, and the recurring imagery of the moon and the ocean adds a gloss of tranquility over the turbulence that is existence.

Love this book, love this author. Read it.

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

XperimentXperiment by Dan Skinner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the things I've come to enjoy in reading anything by Dan Skinner is his unflinching need to see the world as it really is, even in this not so dystopian novel. The setting is St Louis, and I'd be hard pressed to see much difference between his version and the city I could visit next week, right here, and now. It's an ugly place, filled with prejudice, and hatred, and fear, and populated by small minds and smaller consciences.

Geoff Markham is a lonely, quiet man, awkward and unsure of himself, gay in a city where he feels out of place, unattractive enough to court mockery and rejection. His boss is a bully, his job unfulfilling, and the only saving grace is being far away from his abusive stepfather and drunken mother. After a typically awful day at work, he runs home in a rainstorm, with only a newspaper to provide cover, a newspaper containing an ad which catches his eye. He can join an experiment, take supplements which will improve his health, and get paid, too. What does he have to lose?

I don't want to spoil this novel, because it deserves to be read in full, and not in a cliff-note version via review. But what I will say is Dan's eye for imagery lends a power to his words, a lyrical pull which draws you into Geoff's world. The pills open his eyes, and as Geoff discovers who he really is, I couldn't help but get lost in the gorgeous prose. Geoff finds love with a blind street musician, Chris, learns about the beauty in life, and in the process, kindles hope in his own heart, and in mine.

Dan Skinner has offered up a glimpse of a world where evil cannot triumph, as long as we are willing to embrace everything we can be, and never lose hope. It is a vision which feels all the more welcome in these strange days, when we've allowed the ugliness of which he writes to taint our world. I hope we find the same wisdom as Geoff.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Things I never thought I would do...

So, today was DMCA day. I'm unpublishing myself, so to speak, on what I hope is a temporary basis. I'll find new homes for my books, and I'll tweak them a little, make them fresh again before I send them off to be read, and hopefully liked. They're MY books. It's the first step to moving forward again.

But in the interim, I'm really angry, and frustrated, and upset because I was taken in by stories and an inclination to think the best of folks. 

And also because, as a small business owner myself, I know better.

Let me say that again. I. Know. Better. I saw the signs, and I told myself, "It's publishing, it's not quite the same thing as what we do, really, it's going to be fine." Revenue flow fluctuates, but if they're putting aside enough money every month to cover royalties at the highest possible rate, plus a bit extra, they won't have a problem.

But the truth is when you stop paying people, that's a problem. 

When only one person knows how to do something, that's a problem.

When no one answers the calls, or emails, that's a problem. 

You can damned well bet if I was sick, my partner would step in, and fill in. And while I might not grab a bag of test equipment and go run an inspection, or service a panel, I make sure I have subs I can call because my clients can't wait. And I have subs I can call because they know they get paid at the end of the week, no question. NO QUESTION. They get paid before I do. That's how it works.

So if anyone reading this thinks there's still a chance Torquere will pull it out, and things will get better, think again. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Things I never thought I would say...

When I published my debut novella back in 2013, I was elated. It wasn't so much the idea of being a new author, because I wasn't. I'd been writing for a while, and publishing online for free. I didn't think I was good enough to put myself out there, and send something to a publisher.

A dear friend talked me into it, and Torquere Press Inc. took me on. It was honestly one of the best times of my life, and despite all the rollercoaster moments of editing, and worrying about whether or not I was ready, I felt like I was part of an amazing family. The owners of Torquere made me welcome.

I submitted a novel in 2014 and it was accepted for publication. Cue more elation, and once again, despite the bustle to clean up the manuscript and turn it into something proper, it felt so good to be part of this publisher's team of authors.

When they decided to sell Torquere Press Inc. to focus full-time on their own writing, I wasn't worried. I trusted their decision to sell to their general manager. She knew the business, and she knew the authors. My novel was about to be published, and I was riding high.

Apparently not. In case you haven't seen it, let me share this with you all:

Writer Beware

Let's just say I've been happier. This is a fitting end to a year that's seen far too many gifted and wonderful people pass on, and a human Cheeto elected to the highest office in our country.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

And this morning, it feels like the world has gone mad...

I understand the anger. I understand the sense of marginalization which drove people to vote for a man whose entire campaign was based on hatred, fear, and divisive language. I understand feeling like burning down the house because there's no other way to get rid of what's wrong with it.

I understand, because I'm a woman, and I have children who aren't textbook perfect, and I have friends who are black, Hispanic, Muslim, Jewish, gay, trans, or otherwise outside the comfort zone of those very angry people who just made Brexit look sane. 

My autistic son will become one of their targets. He certainly won't get services, if they have anything to say about it. Too expensive, too great a burden for us to care for those who, by virtue of a genetic roll of the dice, aren't "normal," who are innocent to a degree the rest of us have lost.

My trans child faces a world where violence is seen as acceptable, where fear of something one cannot understand means beating it out of a body. Will I relax when my child leaves the house now? Probably not. My phones will become harbingers of dread once again, as they were when my father was dying, and all the news was bad.

All we can do now, those of us who can't fill our hearts with hatred, is to live, and live in a way which shows we will never surrender to hatred. We cannot let fear win, and we need to reach out our hands to all those who will be left out of the new definition of what makes America great.