Things you shouldn’t do

LP Part 1 CharlieWhat is it about doing things you’re not supposed to do that causes so much pleasure? I was such a risk taker in my younger years.  It’s amazing that I’m still alive or never went to jail…well, except for that one time…

What I mean is, considering all the crazy crap I did, I was very lucky. There’d been a time when I’d take just about any dare, try anything—at least once—and go into the wrong-headed endeavor without fear.

I don’t live that way anymore. Continue reading

Hawke’s Point is well worth the read

The first thing you’ll notice about Hawk’s Point are the atmospherics. The story takes place in Beacon Junction, a little place hawks pointwhere everyone knows everyone, the small town newspaper prints things everyone has an opinion on, a place where you can predict where someone will be according to their habit at any time of the day and life seems to progress on an expected, and steady pace and that’s just how this story is; evenly paced and fully explored.

But like most small towns, dig a little deeper and there’s much more going on, everyone has secrets, everyone has losses they are fighting through and they all seem to be struggling with something significant as we all do. The ethical dilemmas abound in this story. Who is right? Who is wrong? Does it matter?

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New release! The General’s Ambition

CoverFinalMD-TheGeneralsAmbitionFirst, let me say that this is NOT the cover. I needed to put something together in order to get the pre-order up on Amazon as
quickly as possible. Earthly Charms is hard at work on the real cover and I’ll reveal it here as soon as it’s perfect. In the meantime, there’s this to wet your appetite and help me announce THE GENERAL’S AMBITION is FINALLY READY FOR YOU!!

On Nov. 1, you’ll be able to order the paperback and ebook versions, but for now at least, you can pre-order the ebook on Amazon.com.

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The value of the beta

Do you mean, some people don’t HAVE beta readers? How can that be?Beta

I can’t imagine how maddening it would be to actually publish a book without first hearing from several people whether or not it works. My sister is usually the first one to read my work and as much as I appreciate her feedback, she’s my sister.

I would never have the courage to hit publish without first hearing from other folks, like my writing group, who are not afraid to be brutally honest and have fun tearing apart my paper thin plot maneuvers, my repetitive sentence structure and my abundant spelling and grammar errors. And while they are invaluable—I’m mean really and truly the greatest group ever—they usually read the work in thirty page chunks. It’s difficult to judge if a plot holds together when you don’t read the whole way through.

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I Proudly Declare That I LOVE Television!

I usually write about books—reading books, writing books, appreciating books. At the core of a good book is good penny dreadfulwriting, something most would agree is an art form. Writing can be transformative, completely engrossing entertainment which sparks the imagination and challenges us to see and understand things we may have otherwise never dreamed of.

At the other end of the spectrum is our attitude about television. Some proudly proclaim they don’t have one or, if they do have one, claim they never watch it. The boob tube, the idiot box, is something to be avoided at all costs and, in some minds, far from anything that could be considered art. In fact, we make ourselves appear smarter by declaring our negative attitude toward the passive, mental download of ridiculousness broadcast to our family rooms.

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How Much Is It Worth?

MoneyI recently heard high praise for a book by a new author and immediately went online to purchase the ebook. When I saw the price however, I was shocked. $12.99 for an ebook?!  The Bird Box by Josh Malerman, and published by HarperCollins, was so highly praised, I thought it was bound to be great. But that price completely turned me off. The pub
lisher wisely dropped the price after only a week, to $9.99 and even though I felt that was still a high price for an ebook, I went ahead and bought it. After reading it, I wish I’d waited a bit longer.

The experience led me to ask, what’s a book worth?

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Broccoli and Books

Broccoli and Books – April 26, 2014Evil broccoli

Sometimes I feel as if I need to grab people by the shoulders and shake them while screaming, “but you HAVE to read
this book!” This form of persuasion usually overtakes me after hearing someone say, “I don’t read (insert some genre).”

If you don’t read a particular genre (romance, fantasy, mystery, military, sci fi), how could you possibly know if you’d like it or not? Isn’t refusing to try something from a different genre a bit like a child who refuses to taste broccoli before deciding he doesn’t like it?

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An Interview with Michael Wallace, author of The Gates of Babylon

Gates of BabylonI posted a review of Michael Wallace’s latest book in his Righteous series, The Gates of Babylon,  in several locations including The Late Last Night Books website I contribute to. Wallace graciously agreed to humor me by answering a few of the burning questions I had about him, his process and his latest book.

Me: I’ve always wanted to ask you about your background. Your bio says that you grew up in a religious community in the desert. Knowing that we write best when we write what we know, how much of the Latter Day Saints communities we see in your Righteous series comes from your own upbringing?

Michael: So much of this story is my own childhood that I didn’t have to crack a book for research, except maybe to look up a scripture or two. My immediate family wasn’t polygamist (thankfully), but I have polygamist relatives and ancestors.

My great-grandfather went to Ireland on a mission and came home with a new Irish wife. His first wife (my great-grandmother) was from England and found this an unwelcome development. The two women and their children lived under different roofs. When someone would come looking for my great-grandfather when he was out, my great-grandmother would sniff, “He’s spending the night in Ireland tonight.”

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Depraved – Tales of a Vampire Hunter II a review

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review but in truth, I would have paid for it anyway.Depraved

In Depraved; Tales of a Vampire Hunter II, we rejoin Oliver and Miranda exactly where the first book left off—with the couple on the run, in love and questioning their newfound abilities. They end up in Mexico, of all places, and run into more trouble as their connection to each other strengthens and they gain more control of their supernatural powers.

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The Wolves of Paris – A fresh take on an old story

Stories about vampires and werewolves have been around for centuries but Michael Wallace manages to bring a fresh take to the old tale. Far afield from his stories about Later Day Saints enclaves in scrubby patches of desert, in The Wolves of Paris, Wallace takes us back centuries to 1450 to weave a tale of sorcery and deceit.Wolves_ebook_small

Two Italian brothers from a wealthy merchant family in Florence, travel to Paris to search for a man of their employ who has disappeared. They find a city terrorized, not only by supernatural creatures, but also by Dominican priests mired in the work of the Inquisition. One brother, Lorenzo, has already been “put to the question,” and resents his brother, Marco, for accusing him of heresy and turning him over to the priests who tortured him. The brothers also resent each other because they are both in love with the same woman; the beautiful and now widowed, Lady Lucrezia d’Lisle.

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