Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"The Mother Hunt" by Rex Stout

I've seen the Nero Wolfe Mystery version of this many times, so I was never in doubt of how Nero Wolfe would solve the mystery of who left a baby in a wealthy widow's vestibule and then killed a couple of women.  I must admit that anymore, I don't read these books for the mysteries in them -- I read them to spend time with Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolfe and their cohorts.  Hanging out with my imaginary friends for a hundred pages or so is what keeps me coming back for more, and the superb mysteries are simply a bonus.  Because the mysteries are excellent too!  If you love mysteries and haven't tried this classic series, you are missing out.

Archie is at his most charming here, romancing their client in his own delectable Archie way.  He almost never enters a relationship with a client, and this one gets pretty serious, so you know this woman must be fairly special.  

This one was written in the 1960s, and it does have a more modern feel to it than many of the earlier novels.  The issues of unwed motherhood and marital infidelity are important parts of the case, and while no salacious details are shared, the word "abortion" does crop up once.  Very edgy for the day, I'm sure.  But as usual, Wolfe is not interested in who is hooking up with whom, except as it might have bearing on who murdered whom.

Particularly Good Bits:

He was tall and broad and handsome, with a big smile that went on and off like a neon sign (p. 58).

"Nothing corrupts a man so deeply as writing a book; the myriad temptations are overpowering" (p. 59).

No man with any sense assumes that a woman's words mean to her exactly what they mean to him (p. 98).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG-13 for the content mentioned above, and for a few more swear words than I'm used to in a Nero Wolfe book.

Friday, March 25, 2016

What My Kids are Reading #5

Time to share some more of the kids my books are reading and having read to them.

Sam (8)

Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede -- magical realism set on the American frontier.  He says Wrede is his favorite author right now.

Across the Great Barrier by Patricia C. Wrede -- a sequel to Thirteenth Child.

The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis.  Although I am emotionally opposed to putting this book first because the series started with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was a kid, my brother-in-law has convinced me it should go first (and the set we have designates it as book 1), so I let Sam start here.  He thought it was confusing at first, so we had a discussion about how it's an allegory of the creation of the world, and once he'd figured out what an allegory is, he thought it was really cool and decided to read it all over again before continuing on with the rest of the series.

Sarah (6) and Tootie (4)

Amelia Bedelia and the Baby by Peggy Parish, illustrated by Lynn Sweat -- we love all the Amelia Bedelia books, especially the originals by Peggy Parish, but Tootie is particularly fond of this one and has been requesting it frequently.

Mother, Mother, I Want Another by Maria Polushkin Robbins, illustrated by Jon Goodell -- a cute little story of a little mouse who, when his mother kisses him goodnight, says he wants another... and she thinks he wants another mother.

Riff Raff the Mouse Pirate by Susah Schade, illustrated by Anne Kennedy -- yes, we love mice around here, and we also love pirates, so what better than a book that combines the two?  These pirates have to solve some riddles and use logic to find a treasure, and the illustrations are super cute.

Aloud to All of Them

The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye -- I learned about this during Heidi's Cinderella Party earlier this year, and snatched it up when I found it at the library.  We've been enjoying this immensely, and are almost finished with it.  I love how it takes fairy tale cliches and overturns them, and how this version of Cinderella became a kitchen wench of her own choice -- it's sweet and funny and clever, and I can't believe I'd never read it before!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Did I Ever Mention...

Everybody here knows I love Jane Eyre and The Lord of the Rings, Shane and Anne of Green Gables, and lots of other books that I won't shut up about.  But here are ten books that I really love, but haven't mentioned much.  Or, as The Broke and the Bookish put it, top ten books we love but feel like we haven't talked about in a while or enough.

Mine are in alphabetical order by title because I didn't feel like using up the emotional energy to put them in order by favorites.

At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon -- I've read the first five or six books in the series, and own almost all of them, so one of these first years, I'll start all over and read them all from the beginning.  These are the sweetest books about an Episcopal minister and his congregation in the North Carolina mountains.  

Ben-Hur:  A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace -- such a thrilling book, full of drama and adventure and awesome story-telling.  The movie is good, but the book is better.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller -- once I got the hang of the circular storytelling style, I adored this book, and I laughed and laughed and laughed over it.  Not family-friendly, though, just so you know.

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey -- the adorable adventures of one young man in the middle of America in the middle of the last century.

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks -- imaginative and awesome, though it does have a couple cuss words.  A young boy named Omri discovers he can magically turn his action figures real.  I feel like Little Bear and Boo-Hoo Boone are my friends.

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson -- David Balfour and Alan Breck Stewart are just irresistible in their Scottish awesomeness.

The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan -- the fascinating story of the Allies' invasion of Normandy on D-DAY during WWII.  Again, the movie is good, but the book is better.

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton -- I have a fondness for stories of hoodlums and J.D.s, and this classic is the best of the best.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier -- gothic romance in the 20th century, full of intrigue and enchantment.  Also, random thing about this book and the one above it:  in both of them, when the protagonist tells their name to a new acquaintance for the first time, the acquaintance says it's "an unusual and lovely name."

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin -- the best YA mystery I've ever read.  I make myself wait at least 5 years between readings so it will all feel a bit fresh and I won't remember everything about what happens.

Okay, those are mine.  What're yours?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

"Anne of the Island" by L.M. Montgomery

Whew.  Anne of Avonlea had me a little worried, that I'd find the rest of the Anne books disappointing like it was.  But nope, Anne of the Island delighted me thoroughly.  I read the last six chapters in an impatient fervor.

For the most part, I think the difference is that Island doesn't have any cutesy parts, whereas Avonlea had too many of them.  The change of scenery and lots of new characters helped too.  And of course, the undercurrent of thwarted romance running through the whole thing helped it sail merrily along.

Anne of the Island picks up at the end of the summer after Anne's last year teaching at the Avonlea school.  She's off to college at Redmond, and the next four years spin past in a delightful swirl of friendship, learning, and gentle adventure.  

Particularly Good Bits:

The bloom had been brushed from one little maiden dream.  Would the painful process go on until everything became prosaic and hum-drum? (p. 62).

For the next fortnight Anne writhed or reveled, according to mood, in her literary pursuits.  Now she would be jubilant over a brilliant idea, now despairing because some contrary character would not behave properly.  Diana could not understand this (p. 89).

"You must pay the penalty of growing-up, Paul.  You must leave fairyland behind you" (p. 155).

But who could expect a melancholy, inscrutable hero to see the humorous side of things?  It would be flatly unreasonable (p. 176).

Anne laughed and sighed.  She felt very old and mature and wise -- which showed how young she was (p. 184).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  G.  Clean and wholesome and delightful.

This is my 35th book read and reviewed for the Classics Club, and my 5th for the Women's Classic Literature Event.

Here are this month's questions from Elyssa at Purple Ink Studios:

Q:  There are some great conversations between Anne and Gil in this book. As much as I love the TV series, some of the real essence of their friendship is lost in the film adaptation. They were such buddies! Is there a scene in the book that you wish hadn’t been left out of the film adaptation?

A:  I think the moment when Gilbert and Anne go arm-in-arm to Diana's wedding was very poignant, and could have been beautifully done on film.

Q:  The proposal. Ah! The proposal! Tell me, which do you like better? The film version or the book version? Mind you, I see Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie when I read the books so I’m not talking about the acting but rather the the scenes for their own sake.

A:  Goodness, I like both!  I don't think I could choose, sorry.

Q:  Let’s talk about Roy Gardener, the man straight out of Anne’s dreams. Give three reasons why he’s so not the guy for her. And if you’d like, talk a bit about having an ‘dream man’ and whether or not we should hold out for them or eventually let them go.

A:  Hmm.  He has no imagination, he's got no idea what a kindred spirit is, and he never told Anne about his previous almost-engagements.  

I'm not sure I ever had a "dream man."  I've definitely always been interested in "manly man" types, like John Wayne and the Lone Ranger, but I never really dreamed up an ideal man for myself -- I confined those to imaginary worlds.  I can see how they'd be very dangerous, though, if you thought one real person could ever fulfill all your ideals and refused any man who didn't.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

"The Key to Extraordinary" by Natalie Lloyd

You may recall how much I loved Natalie Lloyd's novel A Snicker of Magic.  In fact, I was a little hesitant to read her new book because... what if it wasn't as delicious?  

I shouldn't have doubted.

Like Snicker, The Key to Extraordinary is set in a unique little town tucked away in the Appalachians.  Blackbird Hollow is a magical place where flowers bloom everywhere, all the time, and where a great treasure is rumored to have been buried back during the Civil War.  Young Emma lives there, next to the cemetery in what used to be a church and is now the Boneyard Cafe.  Emma's older brother and grandmother run the cafe, and Emma leads tours of the graveyard.  Emma's mother died not too long ago, and her father died before she was born.  But before her mother died, she gave Emma a special book about all the women in their family, generation beyond generation.

All of the women in Emma's family have a special gift, a Destiny Dream that will reveal the path they should tread through life.  Emma hasn't had her Destiny Dream yet, and she's anxious to have it because she's sure it will help her figure out how to save the Boneyard Cafe from destruction.  Her grandma is just about ready to sell it off to a greedy contractor who will tear it down and build something depressing like a strip mall in its stead.

Emma's sure that when she has her destiny dream, it'll show her how to find the legendary treasure hidden somewhere in Blackbird Hollow, and that treasure will solve... not all her problems, but a good many of them.  

Like A Snicker of Magic, this book belongs to the realm of Magical Realism, set in the real world but with magical touches here and there.  This magic is gentle, whimsical, and has nothing to do with casting spells.  Emma and her family can't work magic, but the world of Blackbird Hollow has magic running through it, especially in its special flowers.

Particularly Good Bits:

Blue says true friends turn a bad day into something wonderful faster than a pancake flip (p. 39).

"Do you remember what Mama said about fear?" I asked.  "She said fear is just a flashlight that helps you find your courage" (p. 42).

The storm clouds had drifted away to reveal the setting sun.  I stared down at our shadows on the ground and realized grief feels exactly that way sometimes, like a flat shadow (p. 79).

I know I'm lucky to have a place in the world so special I never want to leave it.  But that doesn't make the letting go any easier (p. 172).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  G for genuinely good and sweet and lovely.  

By the way, I recently read a cool interview with Natalie Lloyd here, where she shared several of her favorite books from her childhood.  Thought you might enjoy it too.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Books I Won't Let My Kids Grow Up Without -- Junior Fiction

A fellow homeschooling mom asked me a few weeks ago if I had ever considered compiling lists of book recommendations for different age groups.  I hadn't, until then, but it's such a compelling idea that I'm doing it!  I'm starting with junior fiction because it's what Sam is reading right now, so a LOT of it is flowing through my house.  I intend to do lists of picture books, early readers, middle-grade fiction, and YA in the future.

By "Junior Fiction" I mean longer chapter books aimed at kids around ages 8-12.  Obviously, some kids might be ready for this level before age 8, and continue to enjoy these after they're older than 12.  I mean, I still enjoy them now, and I'm almost 3x12.  But this is the age group I think of them as geared for.  I do read books from this list aloud to my daughters, who are 4 and 6 right now, and they very much enjoy them too.

This is entirely based on my own reading experience and what Sam is attracted to right now -- he's 8, and an avid reader.  Most of these I love so much, we own a copy.

All-of-a-Kind-Family by Sydney Taylor (I liked the whole series)

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond (and the rest of the series is great too)

Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace (I haven't read the rest of the series yet, but I expect it's good)

Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard (and the sequels are good too, as well as his other dog books)

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley (my favorite book for many years -- the sequels are okay, but not as lovely as the first)

The Borrowers by Mary Norton (and the rest of the series is dear to my heart)

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (and the whole series is good fun)

By the Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleischman

The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz

Caddie Woodlawn and Magical Melons by Carol Ryrie Brink

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

A Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

The Four-Story Mistake and the rest of the Melendy Quartet by Elizabeth Enright

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Gone-Away Lake and Return to Gone-Away by Elizabeth Enright

Half Magic by Edward Eager (and his other books are good too)

The Happy Hollisters and the resultant series by Jerry West

Henry and the Clubhouse and the rest of the Henry books by Beverly Cleary

Henry Reed, Inc by Keith Robertson (the sequels are fun too)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Homer Price and Centerburg Tales by Robert McCloskey

Jingo Django by Sid Fleischman

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd

King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (really, all her horse books are delightful)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (Sam's just starting them and really liking them!)

Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars by Ellen MacGregor (and the rest of the series is fun)

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry (the sequels are good too)

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary (and the two follow-ups are good too)

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald (and the rest of the series is great fun too)

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (the two sequels are also enjoyable)

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

Ramona the Pest and the rest of the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary

Rascal by Sterling North

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (the rest of the series is nice too)

Smoky the Cow Horse by Will James

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (I like all her books, but this one especially much)

Stuart Little by E. B. White

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

There are other books in this age range I really dig, but that I'm either forgetting now, or don't like well enough to recommend them to everyone.  This is a good start, anyway.

Do you have any recommendations for this age group?  We're always looking for new books!  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Springing Ahead

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic, via The Broke and the Bookish as usual, is Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List.  So here are the ten books I'm looking the most forward to reading this season!

The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King -- the latest novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes gets released next month!  Just in time for my birthday...

Anne of Windy Poplars by L. M. Montgomery, which I'll be reading next month for the Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, which I'll be hosting a read-along for starting in late May.

The Shadow on the Mesa by Jackson Gregory, which I just bought on Etsy, and which I don't think is going to have anything to do with the movie by the same title, but I'm eager to find out what it really is about!

Surgeon in Blue:  Jonathon Letterman, the Civil War Doctor Who Pioneered Battlefield Care by Scott McGaugh, which I'll be reading for research.

Much Ado About Anne by Heather Vogel Frederick, because since I'm reading all the Anne books this year, I thought now would be a good time to read the next book in the Mother-Daughter Book Club.

For Elise by Hayden Wand, which I just got a Kindle copy of and will start soon.

Code of the West by Zane Grey, because it looks awesome.

The Cherokee Trail by Louis L'Amour, which was the inspiration for one of my favorite TV shows ever, Five Mile Creek.

The Dragon Turn by Shane Peacock, the next-to-last book in the Boy Sherlock Holmes series I've been slowly reading my way through.

We'll see how many of these I actually manage to read this spring :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Announcing the Poetry Month Celebration

I've been thinking about this for a long time, and I've decided to just go ahead and do it.  I am going to host a Poetry Month Celebration here all during April, which is National Poetry Month in the US (and in Canada, I believe).  I love poetry, but for many years I did not -- I thought poetry was scary and difficult and unapproachable.  I think a lot of people still feel that way, so with this event, I want you to help me by spreading the poetry love, or trying to feel some poetry love, or even getting your first taste of poetry.

What will this celebration involve?  Well, seeing that this is me, you won't be at all surprised to hear that I'm going to host a giveaway during the first week, giving away some little books of poetry.  And I'll be posting something myself about poetry each week.  I'll also create a poetry-related blog tag that you can fill out on your own blog, and do a link-up thing for that when April gets here.  But I also need contributions from YOU!

What sorts of contributions?  Anything poetry-related!  You can do as many or as few posts as you like.  You can declare ahead of time what you want to write about, or you can stop by during the month and say, "Hey, I just posted this poetry thing..."  I have created a new page to hold the ideas for (and eventually links to) all the posts, and you can comment either there or here with ideas, suggestions, and post links :-)  It'll basically be like a month-long blogathon.

Some ideas to get you started:  you could post about a specific poem, some info on a particular poet, a review of a poetry collection, your own original poetry, or something else you dream up!

And if you're excited about this event, do please share one of the buttons on your blog :-)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

"Archie Meets Nero Wolfe" by Robert Goldsborough

Does it ever happen to you that you're in the middle of a book (or four), and then another book arrives at your house, and you're like, "Oh, I'll just read the first page to see what it's like, and then I'll read the rest after I finish the book (or four) I'm working on right now."  And two days later, you've finished the whole new book.

Well, that's what happened to me with Archie Meets Nero Wolfe, which bears the entirely unneeded subtitle A Prequel to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries.  I mean, what else could it possibly be?

You know by now that I love Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries.  They're one of my happy places.  I've never read a Wolfe pastiche before, though, and I was a leeetle nervous going into this.  I've read enough Sherlock Holmes and Jane Austen pastiches to know that sometimes you find someone golden who can write those characters they way they ought to be written, but most of the time you get all miserable because it's sort of bad fanfiction written by someone with a tin ear.

Happily, Goldsborough is good.  His pacing is sound, and he plots well.  His dialog for Wolfe was excellent -- I could really feel like yes, this was Wolfe.  Same for Inspector Cramer.  The 'teers, Saul and Fred and Orrie, were good too.  But of course, the quality of any Nero Wolfe pastiche is going to hinge on the portrayal of Archie Goodwin.  He's the narrator of the originals, the real heart of the stories, and by far my favorite character in them.  Archie is make or break.

And here too, Goldsborough made it work.  Not quite so perfectly as Wolfe -- it wasn't until the last third of the story that I really started feel like yup, this is my Archie Goodwin.  But that's actually okay, and may have been intentional, because the book begins with Archie at 19, freshly arrived in NYC and trying to find his niche in the big city.  He's still zesty and charming, but feels a little unformed, and I've decided that Goldsborough did that on purpose, because Archie at 19 obviously wouldn't have yet acquired the flair he has as a grown man.  It's by hanging out with Saul Panzer and Nero Wolfe that he can learn to be more than just brash and brave.  

After I'd finished reading this, I did a little internet sleuthing of my own and discovered that Goldsborough had previously written several Nero Wolfe mysteries, so I'm kind of thinking I'll try to find some of those now too.  Not like I've run out of actual Nero Wolfe books, because I have half a shelf of them I haven't read yet, but... the more, the merrier, huh?

The actual plot of Archie Meets Nero Wolfe revolves around a kidnapping case that Wolfe solves with the help of his go-to independent operatives, Saul Panzer, Fred Durkin, and Orrie Cather, as well as someone who pops up in a couple of the originals, Del Bascom.  And Del Bascom brings along a bright young fellow he's taken on as an assistant, one Archie Goodwin.  By the end of the book, Wolfe has come to appreciate Goodwin's detecting instincts, ability to recall entire conversations verbatim, and energetic inability to sit around and do nothing.  He offers him the job of assistant, warning him he'll need to be part secretary, part clue hound, and part pants-kicker.  And, well... we all know how that turns out.

Particularly Good Bits:

"False humility is a transparent plea for praise and recognition, neither of which I find worth the price of the pretense" (p. 138).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG for some violence, a child in peril, and a little bad language here and there (the same kind you'd run into in the original books).  

Monday, March 7, 2016

Mailbox Monday (Sort Of)

I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday again this week!  I didn't get any of the following books in my mailbox, though.  Our library has used book sales four times a year, and one was this past weekend.  And I bought a stack of books, which kind of is what usually happens.

The light's really glaring here, and the titles are hard to read, so here's the list of what I got (and why), from the top down:

101 Things You Didn't Know About Shakespeare by Janet Ware with Al Davis (looks cute and funny, and I can never know too much about Shakespeare)

The Mystery of the Empty Room by August Huell Seaman (bought solely because it's all '50s cool)

Romeo and Juliet & West Side Story (yup, both plays in one volume, from 1965)

The Dark Tower 1:  The Gunslinger by Stephen King (I don't like King's fiction much, because I can't deal with horror, but I keep hearing good things about this series and... a gunslinger.  I'm hooked by that word, bigtime.)

Bear Island by Alistair MacLean (because I haven't read it yet)

The Jane Austen Guide to Life by Lori Smith (looks fun, and it's a gorgeously clean copy)

A Memoir of Jane Austen by J.E. Austen-Leigh (because I keep meaning to read this, so now maybe I will)

All Things New by Lynn Austin (I read lots of praise of Austin's novels, and this one is about a Virginia plantation during Reconstruction, so yes please!)

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George (I have never heard of this, but it's a retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," which is one of my favorite fairy tales.)

Cowboy Curmudgeon and Other Poems by Wallace McRae (I'm thinking of doing Something Interesting for National Poetry Month, which is April.  Stay tuned for details.)

And then there are allllllllllllllllllll those green books on the bottom.  Those are all 14 volumes of a set called Great Writers of the English Language.  It looks amazing.  Like, I can't wait to delve into them myself, and I think in about 7 years, they're going to be a great curriculum for high school English and Lit classes for my kids.  Here's a closer look at them:

Uh-huh.  Sooooooooooooooooooooooo cool.

Have you read any of these?  Did you get any new (or new-to-you) books in your mailbox, on your doorstep, or *gasp* from a store this week?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

"The Further Adventures of Zorro" by Johnston McCulley

As you might be able to tell from the cover, in Johnston McCulley's second serialized Zorro story, Zorro takes to the high seas.  Because what could possibly be more exciting than the first Zorro story?  Why, Zorro plus pirates, of course!

On the eve of Don Diego Vega's wedding to Senorita Lolita Pulido, a band of pirates attacks Los Angeles, looting and pillaging.  The presidio just happens to be empty of soldiers at the moment because Captain Ramon sent them on a fool's errand so the pirates could have free rein.  His reward?  They kidnap Lolita Pulido for him.  Back in the first Zorro story (originally titled The Curse of Capistrano), Captain Ramon had tried unsuccessfully to woo the senorita, but of course lost out to Diego/Zorro.  Now Ramon is determined to ruin his rival, claim the girl as his own, and make people think he's a hero.  If he has to make -- and break -- a few pacts with some pirates, oh well.

Naturally, Diego dons his Zorro persona once again and sets off to rescue his lady love.  If you're not used to reading serialized adventures like this (think the swashbucklers of Alexandre Dumas), then you might get a bit weary of the long string of escapes, captures, failed rescues, and so on.  I thought it was a very fun story, and I liked that the damsel in distress did some plotting of her own, involving several bids for freedom and a successful trick to free Zorro.

This is not great literature.  However, this is highly entertaining literature, and I'm so glad it's available in e-book form and not lost to the world.  I read this with the Kindle app on my phone, and while it had numerous typos, still... I'd rather have to decipher a word here and there than not get to read it at all!

Particularly Good Bits:

"If a thief, be a thief!  If a pirate, be a pirate!  But do not play at being an honest man and try to be a thief and pirate at the same time."

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG for lots of swashbuckling violence and Captain Ramon intending to have his way with Senorita Pulido if she does not consent to marry him.

This is my 34th book read and reviewed for The Classics Club.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I WON! I'm getting published!

I just posted about this over on my other blog too, but I know there are people here who don't follow that one, so I'll post about it here too because I am celebrating.  You can read the official announcement here :-D

Yes, I wrote a western retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story.  Because it's me.  Westerns, westerns everywhere.  They're all I write anymore (aside from the occasional bit of Combat! fanfic, of course), and I love them dearly.  Thanks to lots of advice and encouragement from my writing friends, especially from my endlessly patient mentor, DKoren, I turned in a story I was really proud of, and I figured that even if I didn't win this contest, I would be able to find a home for my story somewhere.  But I won!  Yippee-ki-yay!

I've got quite a bit of editing to do in the next few months, of course, but this summer, people will be able to buy a book containing a story I wrote, and that is an absolute dream come true.  Here's what it will look like:

Isn't it lovely?  I love the fall-like color scheme.  There will be an audio version too, which is so groovy.  Anyway, I will probably post more about this in the future, but mostly over on Hamlette's Soliloquy, so if you want updates and such, please follow that blog too.