Book Review

Carey Baldwin Confesses!

Sometimes a book or an author comes along that is really special.  Carey Baldwin is just such an author, and her new book Confession is just such a book.

Each line of Confession is beautifully crafted.  Whether the heroine is confronting the hero, or being threatened by a patient in her office, you feel every heartbeat, every nervous tremor that the heroine tries to conceal.  You feel her loneliness, her desire to do the right thing, her indecision, and her bravery.

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Can you tell that I loved this book? And isn’t that cover terrific?

Carey is as interesting as her characters.  She’s a mild-mannered physician (still practicing full time) who happens to write edgy romantic thrillers. What’s a nice girl like Carey doing writing scare-you-silly thrillers? She says: “When you’re a former clinical psychologist, writing about psychopaths comes naturally, and when you’re a hopeless romantic…, well,…
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Mary Hart Perry Swims with the Mermaids!

I want to introduce you to one of my favorite authors — Mary Hart Perry, who is also known as Kathryn Johnson.  She writes lovely fiction in all genres, but lately has been writing these wonderful historicals with just the right amount of mystery and romance woven in.

The thing about her work is that she does the research.  These are real people, with historically correct situtations — that she has embellished, or theorized upon.  They range from Shakespeare to the daughters of Queen Victoria — and a sterner mamma you will never encounter.

Here is an interview we did about the first book in her most recent series about Queen Victoria’s daughters.  The third book of which just released a few days ago.

(If you have trouble playing the video interview, you may want to update your Adobe.)

I love the bravery of her characters — especially her heroines.  They stretch the rules to utter breaking points, but always do so in a completely believable way.  If you’re like…
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My Favorite Things — for Christmas!

Are you ready?  It’s coming — just around the bend.  In fact, Chanukah has already passed and I barely got a chance to wish Happy Chanukah between turkey drumsticks, but I’m not missing wishing all of you — no matter the holiday — the best of the season and the happiest of new years!

So, here are a few of my favorite things — umm books — that some of you might want to share with your friends when you’re gift shopping:

 

Candice Gilmer’s novel, Mission of Christmas, , it’s one of my absolute Christmas favs.  I know you’ll love it! MissionOfChristmas72web

There’s more than one way to unwrap a gift.

Erica Jones is a Scrooge, and she doesn’t care who knows it. She doesn’t “do” Christmas, never has, never will. For anyone who believes that everything is “merrier and brighter” during the season, she has a news flash—it’s not any better. Just colder.

Andrew Hawkins has never had a bad Christmas,…
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Flipped over FLIPPED

A few months ago, Kim-Mermaid and I did a book exchange, where we lent each other ten or so of our favorite YA books to read. Among these ten was a worn, much-loved (by both Kim and her children) copy of a 2001 MG novel called FLIPPED, by Wendelin Van Draanen. Now, I don’t read too much Middle Grade, but I have frequently been charmed by the magic worlds of this genre, so I was more than willing to give it a try.

Oh. My. God.

This book sucked me in on the first page and wouldn’t let me go until long after I finished the last page. Told in the alternating first-person viewpoints of a thirteen-year-old boy and girl, it is more or less a story of a first crush. Julianna falls in love with eight-year-old Bryce’s blue eyes when he moves into the neighborhood, but he finds her, at best, annoying. When eighth grade rolls around, and he finally starts to…
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This Will Scare the S#*T Out of You

I rearranged my office the other day and pushed my desk closer to the heater vent so I wouldn’t keel over from what the fab Mr. Flynn has diagnosed as colditis. The bad new is, it didn’t work. I’m still freezing my butt off. The good news is I found a bunch of books I forgot I had. Don’t you love it when that happens?!?

One of my favorite random books is 1,001 Facts That Will Scare the S#*T Out of You by Cary McNeal (http://www.amazon.com/001-Facts-that-Will-Scare/dp/1605506249). That is the actual title. If it was up to me, I’d have typed out shit and let the other mermaids try to take me down. Oh wait, I just did it. I don’t feel as badass as I thought I would.

Anywho … back to the book. 

1,001 Facts is one of the books that I pick up whenever I need to remind myself that I can’t reach through the phone and strangle annoying people. (Hey, we all have coping mechanisms.) The book…
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Time Lords, Spoilers, Christmas Day: A Review of Chicks Unravel Time

It is starting to feel a lot like Christmas—and Who knows December 25 could mark the return of the best season of the Eleventh Doctor yet!

Yes, I’m referring to Doctor Who, the longest running science fiction television show in the world (It has to be, right?). Fifty years on the air (launching in 1963 -1996 on the BBC and then late-night PBS later) and then the series revival in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor and after him David Tennant – yum – and now the joyous Matt Smith – who gave us one of the best love stories EVER! But careful, Spoilers…I can say no more!…

Oh, okay, not where you thought I was going?

Well, this blog talks a lot of romance, and the fans of Doctor Who have had one of the longest most satisfying relationships with the Doctor and his companions (and Dalek love is real, too) in entertainment history. And as…
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Book Review – Forever in One Second by Finn Marlowe

Hello friends! it’s book review day here in the lagoon and I am thrilled to review a wonderful book from an author who became an auto-buy for me with her first book, “A Thread of Deepest Black”. Finn is a wonderful storyteller who has a gift for drawing you into a story and allowing you to walk with the characters.  You feel it all, see it all, live it all.  It is an amazing reading experience.

Her second book, “Forever in One Second” starts off as a sweet, sizzlingly sexy book about two childhood frenemies who meet again and fall for each other – hard. The story has a slight paranormal/mystical element to it but you aren’t going to have any vamps or wolves walking the pages. Nope, this is about real, relatable, flawed, lovable everyday men.

It isn’t until 40% into the book that Finn tips your little chariot…
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Faith and Love: Why We’re Still Here

A visit with first time author and my grandma, Shirley Faith Touchstone.

Hello friends.  I hope this post finds you feeling something good in your bones, little or large, as long as it’s in there somewhere.  Mine are, quite frankly, bursting.  And it’s got everything to do with the fact that one of the stops on my recent 5,200 mile cross-country road trip was to my Grandma Shirley’s home in Van Buren, Arkansas…Where I got to hold her book, Why Am I Still Here?

 

 

We spent a few days together talking about how excited and busy she is at 77 years young to have seen this, her first book, to publication.  For anyone struggling with perseverance to stick with your dreams or anyone hurting from loss, Grandma and I hope…
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Book Review: Break Into Fiction

Two years ago, at the WRW Annual Retreat which was held in Leesburg, VA, I had the great fortune to win a raffle basket donated by Dianna Love.  Inside were all sorts of cool treasures but the greatest of all, as I discovered last month, was a copy of her book with Mary Buckham, “Break Into Fiction”. 

 

I highly recommend this book if:

You are a beginning writer.

You are an experienced writer.

You are beginning a new story.

You are like me and editing/revising a completed draft.

 

The book is so very friendly.  It shows you how to easily recognize the key elements of successful commercial fiction in several popular movies (by walking you through templates for each of the movies) so that you can then use those same templates to develop your own story idea.

There are two aspects I like…
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Book Review: The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne

In January, this mermaid was fins deep in both reading and writing.  This was due to that fabulous Savvy Author’s workshop, Editpalooza, I haven’t stopped raving about.  Today, three months later, I’m still benefitting from its lessons and its where my book review has sprouted from.

 

But backstroking to the first week’s assignment, we had just been tasked to open our manuscripts and read from title page to the end–The Full Read.  The rule for this lesson was to make short notes whenever our eyes would start to skip a paragraph, glaze from the page or get confused and then report these issues to our group and editor.  My notes mostly consisted of too much back story in the opening.  I had done this unknowingly trying to show the emotional connection between my two estranged friends who had just been reunited.  My group’s editor,  Kerri-Leigh Grady’s, feedback was spot on.  She ascertained…
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