Saturday, June 30, 2007


Kimber An crawls out from under a pile of shattered lamps, bangs her plasma-pistol on the floor, and tosses it over her head. She pulls up on the Interdiminsional Transport Chamber, slipping around a bit in the Tribble poo. She exchanges tired nods with Lady Bronco standing in the doorway. She looks over to see Merc dancing on a table with the cyber-version of Lisa's book, singing about how she won the signed copy of MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FIND. "Where's the..." She looks at Lady B who lifts a tired finger to point the way to the super-turbo coffee-maker. Yawning behind her hand, she staggers over. "What a party."

Hey, party-goers, what was your favorite part?

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Welcome to the Cyber-Launch Book Party for Lisa Shearin's debut novel, MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND. I hope you've all sharpened your elven blades and put on your steel-tipped party boots. To kick off the party, I'll run a previously recorded interview with the esteemed author.


Kimber Asked: Can you share the journey you took in creating MAGIC LOST, TROUBLEFOUND? What first inspired you? Did it flesh out right away or did thedetails come later? How did the characters reveal themselves to you?
Let’s see if I can remember that far back. What eventually became MLTF started in my college days as a result of wanting something to read, but not being able to find anything in the bookstore that I thought I’d like. My roommate got tired of my complaining and said, “Why don’t you just write something yourself?”

So I did.

And it sucked.

But I kept going. I finished that one and wrote another book, a sequel to the first one. It sucked only marginally less, which meant (at least in my own mind) that I was getting better. Hmmm, maybe being delusional is a big part of finally getting published.

Those two books formed the base for what eventually became MLTF. Raine, Mychael, Chigaru and Phaelan were in those first two books (though vastly different than they are now). Piaras didn’t come into being until I was on the second draft of MLTF. (What can I say, the kid’s a late bloomer.) Piaras was just supposed to be a “fetch & carry” character—there for window dressing, maybe say a line or two, etc. Then in the scene around Chapter 6, when Raine comes home and is talking to Tarsilia, and Piaras goes to open the shop. . .suddenly one day when I’m working on that scene, Raine hears Piaras singing from the next room. The kid had a magnificent voice. That got Raine’s attention (and mine). A few days (or maybe weeks) later, when I was writing the scene where Raine is meeting Ocnus Rancil close to The Ruins. . .suddenly Piaras is there getting himself yanked into a dark alley. What the hell?? I’ve since learned that if a character gets yanked into an alley or thrown out of a bar, that character is worth paying attention to.

Kimber An asked: Some of our guests are writers. Can you share your process fortaking a story from rough draft to submission-ready manuscript? What's yourbest advice on how they can improve the craft of writing to meet publication standards?
For me, the first draft is for getting the story down, the second draft is for filling in the blanks, third draft is for buffing, polishing and making it pretty. Though most of the time there ends up being five drafts—each one adding more detail and texture to the one before. Later drafts are the real fun. Then I basically keep doing it until my gut tells me I’ve finally got it right. Between drafts, I like to let it sit and simmer for a week or two, then when I come back to it, it’s fresh to me, and more details reveal themselves. That’s the annoying part for me. I’m ultra-organized and methodical. My writing brain apparently is not. When I was doing the final draft of MLTF (Book 1), the first two pages for Book 4 came at me out of left field. Boom. There they were. So I stop and write them down. I’ve got notebooks full of scenes and dialogue that come to me like that. I write them down, knowing that somehow they’ll fit into a story somewhere at some time. My brain doles out ideas like puzzle pieces. It’s up to me to figure out where they go. Frustrating as hell, yet fun at the same time.

Kimber An asked: What experience do you hope readers will take away from reading MAGICLOST, TROUBLE FOUND?
I hope they have fun. That’s all. Just fun. There’s too much depressing crap going on in the world to have to put up with that in a book. I just want to give my readers a couple of days or hours (some of you have plowed right through it), of pure escapist fun. I cut my fantasy-writing teeth on David Eddings, Raymond Feist and Terry Brooks. I LOVED their characters. These were people you wanted to hang out with, and couldn’t wait to visit again in the next book. I’ve had people tell me they felt that way about the characters in MLTF. That is the highest praise anyone could give me. That’s my purpose right there.

Kimber An asked: Can you tell us a little bit about your next novel, ARMED ANDMAGICAL? When is it due out?
Armed & Magical is due out in May of next year. It picks up a couple of days after MLTF ends. Needless to say, Raine isn’t going to catch up on her sleep anytime soon. Let's see. . .by the end of page three, Raine's already got big problems—an assassination attempt on the archmagus, an encounter with an enemy from her past, and an entirely too public display of her Saghred-enhanced powers. Later. . .Tam has not one, but two, deep dark secrets from his past that he'd rather keep buried. (Of course they don’t stay that way.) Piaras is now a Conclave college student studying spellsinging, and that voice of his attracts way too much of the wrong kind of attention. Mychael has his hands full with Raine, and with trying to keep her from falling prey to the darkest side of the Saghred. Let the fun continue!
Thank you for sharing all that, Lisa! To read my review of MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, just scroll down this page to June 19th's column. The party will run through tomorrow night, at which time a drawing will be held of all the people who leave comments to this entry. Winner gets a signed copy of the book! Now, let the festivities begin!

WARNING: The normal laws of space and time do not apply to the Party Room. Watch your step!

SECOND WARNING: I write Young Adult, as well as Adult fiction. Please be respectful of my younger friends. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cyber-Launch Book Party on Thursday!

The party for Lisa Shearin's new release, MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, will be here on this blog on Thursday. For more details, pop over to my personal blog

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday's Oldies but Goodies...

Good morning!

This week's Oldie but Goodie is...

Mimosa Grove
by Dinah McCall

Released April 2004

When I first read this book, it was a one-sitting deal. I could not put it down. And even though I knew I would pick it up again and re-read it slowly, I already had one word that would thoroughly describe the voice of this novel.


The story of Laurel Scanlon in her ancestral home, Mimosa Grove, is more a story of love and acceptance than anything else. In the opening pages of this book, Laurel lives with her father in DC. She receives word that her maternal grandmother has passed away, leaving everything to Laurel. In a split-second decision, Laurel decides to leave DC and move to Louisiana to claim her inheritance. There are a myriad of reasons she decides to do this, but the biggest reason Laurel can 'see' - a fact that drove her mother insane and caused her to take her own life when Laurel was a little girl.

When Laurel arrives in Mimosa Grove, she is shocked at the acceptance given to her and her abilities. The women of her family have long been respected in their little corner of Louisiana, and Laurel quickly finds herself in the hunt for a lost little girl. Laurel also meets Justin Bouvier, a man she has been dreaming about for months but had never met.

Interwoven into the tale is the story of Laurel's father, Robert, a high-powered US Attorney who has no patience with Laurel's abilities. He is currently prosecuting a case of treason - one that will cross paths with Laurel in Louisiana with deadly results.

As the story builds and builds to the end, which I will not give away, the relationships between Laurel and Justin, and Laurel and her father, are skillfully woven into the fabric of this suspenseful tale. Combine the personal dynamic with the suspense of the story and even the ghost that haunts Mimosa Grove, and you have a tale that will grab your attention on page one, and will not let you go until the last word is read. The heat level is sensual, but not just thrown in for the heck of it.

Dinah McCall is a pseudonym for Sharon Sala, and you can find her books on

Happy reading!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "What the heck does toilet training have to do with Enduring Romance?!" Duh. Everything! This is Real Life, people! In Real Life, romance leads to love which leads to making babies. Babies grow into toddlers and toddlers must be toilet trained or they wreak havoc on the household and the romance of the parents will not endure! Little wonder I'm one of those readers who is not impressed by swashbuckling 'heroes' who have no intention of sticking around to help raise the resulting offspring. You can find a husband who is a good lover AND a good father! All right, enough ranting. On with the review!

TOILET TRAINING IN LESS THAN A DAY has never failed me. I'm a retired nanny and mother of four (three on Earth and one in Heaven.) I've done this a few times. There is a catch - my children have always taken FOUR days to be fully trained. Not one. Considering the possible troubles, however, I'm NOT complaining!

Toilet Training is like a big party in our house. We get two or three liters of soda pop, couple of bags of potato chips, and a large bag of M&Ms. The older children love helping with training, because they get treats for demonstrating the process to the toddler.

This method is thoroughly explained step-by-step in the book. Instead of reviewing those steps, I'll share the critical points I've learned to go along with them.

1) Read the book completely, every single word, and commit the basic steps to memory.

2) Be absolutely certain the pre-training phase is complete BEFORE you train.

3) Learn what motivates your child. With my eldest, it was our social interaction. With my second and succeeding children, it was a strong desire to be like older siblings. Whatever it is for your child, tailor your training to accomadate.

4) Block out an entire WEEK. Yes, a week. Block out an entire week in which you have no need to leave the house. You will probably only need to stay in the house for the first day, but make sure there's no need to leave. This is vital because there must be NO interruptions or distractions during the process and you will need that week to make certain the training has become habit for the child. If you work outside the home, at least try to have to weekend. Try to get a long weeked, if at all possible. If this is irritating, just imagine yourself changing a 4 year old's poopy diaper and you'll get over it fast. Trust me, that's not something you want to have to do!

5) Have fun! If at some point you or your child starts getting frustrated, relax! Calm down. Chill out. It's nothing personal. Losing your tempor will destroy the training. Don't let it happen. Remember the image of the 4 year old's poopy diaper!

Like I said above, this method has never failed me. Nevertheless, I know there's always a wild card in every deck. Each child is an individual. So, I'm going at this with an open mind and open heart.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cyber-Launch Book Party for Lisa Shearin!

Stellar news! Lisa Shearin has agreed to let us throw a Cyber-Launch Book Party on Thursday, June 28th. Spread the word, Blog Buddies!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


*For a more thorough review, please check out my Blog Buddy Tia's blog My review we'll probably be more commentary. You all probably realize I'm an amateur who doesn't follow a standard procedure anyway.*

Before I launch into my complaints about the Fantasy genre, I would you to know this is a good book that I liked.
For greater discussion of the ins and outs of the Fantasy genre, check out my other Blog Buddies' blog

I don't read much Fantasy for two reasons. One, most of them are Tolkien knock-offs. Two, most of them center so much on the magic that the humanity of the characters is lost. As a reader (and a writer), the Intimate Adventure is the most important factor to me in every story. Other readers have other priorities, but that's mine. Pop over to In a nutshell, the Intimate Adventure is the emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and psychological experience of the protagonist, how she matures, how she comes to the point in which she's prepared to deal with the conflict and overcome.

If I had sped-red MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, I would have missed the Intimate Adventure and probably would have tossed the book by the end of the first chapter. It's not portrayed as strongly as I prefer. However, Lisa's voice is so fresh and real and the heroine, Raine, is so multi-dimensional, empathetic, and appealing that I was absorbed right into the story anyway. By the end of the third chapter, I was seeing the Intimate Adventure and I was a happy reader as a result.

MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND is unusual in that it's told in First Person Point of View and the voice telling it sounds contemporary. If not for the amulet and goblins, I'd think Raine was a rogue agent on the backstreets of Chicago dealing with the Mob. That may put off some die-hard Fantasy readers, but I think if they stick it out they'll be hooked. I think Lisa Shearin is very lucky to have had industry professionals supportive of her original way of telling this story because I think she'll hook new readers who wouldn't normally read Fantasy, as a result.

There is a lot of magic shooting back and forth, but it doesn't overwhelm the characters. Raine is beautifully flawed and holds her own against the magic element.

There's not a Hobbit to be found anywhere in this book. In fact, if LORD OF THE RINGS had the goblins from MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, I think Lady Arwen would have thought twice about sticking with Aragorn. The goblins in this Fantasy novel are sexy, but still very scary. Arwen was smart. She would have seen through that. And so does Raine, of course. I love gorgeous villains. They make life so much more complicated for the Heroine!

On the outset of this story, you'll wonder if there is any virtue at all in the heroes. They live in a city which positively reeks of greed. But, then, you'll notice that Raine gets in trouble because she cares about Quentin and deeper into trouble because cares about other people too. This is virtue at its most basic, but if you told Raine that she'd probably laugh you off.

The story goes that she's trying to help these friends out and ends up with the amulet which won't let her take it off. All the baddies in the city find out and start hunting her down. Like I said, for a more thorough review of the details, pop over to Tia's blog.

Linnea Sinclair recommended this book to me just when I finally got Zombie doo-doo cleaned out of my ears from reviewing her forthcoming novel, DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES. (sigh) Now I have goblin goo freeze-dried in my hair. Thanks a lot, Linnea!
Learn more about Lisa Shearin, MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, and Lisa's other stuff at

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday's Oldies but Goodies...

Good Morning!
In honor of Father's Day, this week's Oldie but Goodie is...

The Eyes of the Dragon
by Stephen King

First Released 1987

I know what you're thinking.
Stephen King? Have you lost it?

The answer is - Nope. I have not lost it. If you are unfamiliar with this story, this King novel is like nothing you are expecting.

The novel 'The Eyes of the Dragon' is about love, after all.
The love two sons have for their father.
The love that father has for his sons.

The story of 'Dragon' opens up in the kingdom of Delain. King Roland is the current reigning monarch, and he has two young sons - Peter, the Crown Prince, and his younger brother Thomas. Flagg, the court magician, has been plotting for years a way to overtake the throne, and discovers the perfect means through Thomas.

One night, Flagg puts his plan into motion, and Roland dies. Peter is convicted of his murder, and Thomas becomes King.

And the entire kingdom is thrown into despair. Oh, not all at once. It starts with small things, like higher taxes, and snowballs to whole families disappearing in the middle of the night. And through it all, Flagg continues to poison the mind of young Thomas, who is too weak-willed to stand up for what is right. His actions spark a rebellion against the throne for the first time in many generations, and through it all, Peter is plotting escape from the Needle - a prison cell atop the highest tower in the castle - reserved only for royal prisoners.

As Peter gets closer and closer to the time when he will attempt his brave escape, Flagg gets more an more uneasy, knowing something is off. Timing is everything, and with the help of his friends, Peter makes a bold move that could either save his kingdom from destruction, or seal the fate of everyone in his land.

What struck me most about this story was how well King's writing just sucked me in. I am a big fan of his writing, but when I read this one, I was struck at how detailed his world became to me. As always, Mr. King has weaved a wonderfully engaging tale, and you should make it a point to read this one. You will not be disappointed.

(And if you have read anything else by Mr. King, the use of the name Flagg will not be lost on you)

Happy Reading, and Happy Father's day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

STAR WARS The Last Command by Timothy Zahn

And so we come to the third and final installment of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy.

First, just let me say I am in awe of how he can build and maintain such powerful plot and sub-plots thre three thick books! It's mind-boggling. I'd say anyone who wants to put out big stories should read this trilogy, regardless of the genre you write in.

I've mentioned that I think Zahn does Princess Leia better than the movies and this remained true through the third book. In fact, I loved how he played Leia against Mara. This interaction really transformed Mara into a multi-dimensional character. If you're a male writer, read this trilogy for the most fantastic portrayal of female characters by a male writer that I've ever read. Creating believable characters of the opposite sex is a major stumbling block to many writers.

As you know, I tend to focus on Leia because she's my queen. Heck, I even had a Princess Leia doll when I was a kid, complete with those iconic hairbuns!

The story continues with Thrawn trying to take territory back from the New Republic so he can re-build and rule the Empire. He continues to use the insane Jedi Master C'baoth who wants Luke, Leia, and Leia's twins to train for his own purpose.

Leia gives birth to the twins, Jacen and Jaina, and nurtures them in a sequence of scenes which could have only been created by a parent who's been through it! They're wonderful and real and Han is a wonderful, doting dad. It's marital romance of the highest kind.

Meanwhile, the ever-sharp Leia continues to figure things out and lure Mara to the light side of the Force. An imperial commando team breaks in and tries to kidnap the twins in a fantastic palace battle.

Leia's nanny, Winter, is so wonderful. Zahn must know real professional nannies to pull this off too. She's quiet, listens, analyzes, and clues in Leia to the under-currants of everything.

Clone-making stuff comes into a play and the ante really gets upped. And I'll just leave it right there. Get the book and read if you want to know the rest!

I was lucky enough to find DRAGON AND THIEF, a Young Adult Science Fiction novel by Timothy Zahn. This is important because SF is rare in YA, so studying what there is means a lot to my development as a writer. I'll be reviewing that next Thursday. I also snagged BRIAR ROSE by Jane Yolen. However, my next review will be on Tuesday, June 19th, when I finally get to tell you all about MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, the debut novel of Lisa Shearin.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Good morning, Blog Buds! I first read tales from this short story anthology last year at exchanging critiques with Marva. I enjoyed them very much, so when I found out she'd published them I had to do a review!

Reading these stories make me feel like I'm sitting down for coffee with my grandpa, listening to him talk about his childhood. The language feels authentic for Texas, but not so that it's difficult to understand if English is not your first language.

The stories are set on a Texas farm in the early part of the 20th century. One of the things I loved most about it was the boy's relationship with his dad. The father in the story is a non-nonsense farmer, not well-educated, but he's a man of honor and it's obvious he loves his son even if he doesn't come out and say it. I've said it before, I love heroes who are great dads!

One of my favorite stores from this anthology is 'Out of the Chicken Coop.'

"When I was just a little kid no more'n seven if I remember rightly, I was down in the chicken yard tossin' grain like I was tol'."

Thus begins a funny tale in which the boy learns chickens aren't as stupid as most people think. A little red hen escapes and streaks for the kitchen with the boy in hot pursuit. Ma hates chickens near the house because they make a mess and that's putting it politely. Chicken poop is icky, stinky, and slimy! Anyway, the chicken gets into the kitchen and the boy chases her under the table, terrified his mother will find out. The tension and hilarity mounts when Spot the Dog charges into the fray! The boy and the dog wrestle each other trying to get that little chicken, knocking over the table and sqwuacking and barking. The chicken escapes outside with the dog chasing her and, of course, the poor boy is left to face his mother alone in a wrecked kitchen wherein she'd been making pies. Imagine a no-nonsense farmer's wife with hands on her hips and fury in her eyes!

These stories are a fun and fantastic read for any age. Childhood is universal, so kids will totally relate. It also provides a glimpse into Texan life in that time period. I'm sending a copy to my mother and I have no doubt she'll read it out loud to my grandmother. When she does, I hope she remembers to use her best Texas drawl. If your Texas drawl is a little rusty, you might want to watch an old cowboy movie first.

Pop on over to Marva's website for more information on how to order this short story anthology. You'll be glad you did. ;)

Be sure to check out Marva's other books while your there too!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

A Sunday Special Review!

Good day Blog Buds!

Today is a special review of...

How To Lose An Extraterrestrial In 10 Days
By Susan Grant

To Be Released July 26, 2007

If you have never read a story by Susan Grant, then you are depriving yourself of an author whose world-building is fantastic, and whose characters all seem to leap from the pages with a life of their own.

I first discovered Susan Grant when I ran across the short story ‘The Star Queen’ in an anthology I had purchased because a story by another author I love was in the same book. (That anthology was “The Only One”). I’ve been hooked ever since. And in her novel “How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days”, Ms. Grant delivers yet again!

“How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days” is the third and final book in the Otherworldly Men series that includes the novels “Your Planet or Mine?” and “My Favorite Earthling.”

We were first introduced to Reef – short for Robotically Engineered Enemy Fighter - in “Your Planet or Mine?” as the assassin trying to kill Cavin of Far Star, who fell in love with Jana Jasper, the sister to Evie Jasper – the female lead in this novel. (Their brother Jared Jasper was the focus in My Favorite Earthling).

Reef has malfunctioned, and finds himself stranded on Earth. The computers that were embedded in his body have been surgically disconnected, and he is now at Cavin’s mercy. Luckily, Cavin does not hold a grudge, and together with his lover Jana, they decide to send him to hide in the suburbs. At Evie’s home. The home he broke into when he was looking for Cavin so he could kill him.

You can imagine just how much Evie loved that idea.

But as Reef starts to find his place in Evie’s home, Evie begins to realize that there is more to Reef than meets the eye. She is heartbroken when he reveals he was stolen as a child from his homeworld of Sandreem, his memory wiped clean. Only now, because the computers in his body have been disabled is he beginning to remember bits and pieces of his life before being stolen. Only now, does he realize that he is so much more than a machine, and a part of him that has been suppressed for so long is finally surfacing - including emotions he never knew he possessed.

This type of story is right up my alley – my loving everything sci-fi and all – but a love of science fiction will not be required to enjoy this novel. It is, at it’s heart, a love story – the love between Reef and Evie, and the love Evie has for her family, and vice-versa.

The story of Evie and Reef is strong enough to stand alone, without having the benefit of reading the previous two novels in the series, but if you like to make sure you know the background of the characters you are reading about, then you may want to check out “Your Planet or Mine?” and “My Favorite Earthling.” If your local bookstore doesn’t have either on their shelves, then visit Susan’s website at and she has links to order all her books there.

Do yourself a favor, and make July 26 a day you plan to visit your local bookstore.
You will be very happy if you do!

Happy Reading!

Friday, June 8, 2007

LOTTERY by Patricia Wood

A copy of LOTTERY by Patricia Wood is on its way. This one will be reviewed in July. Pat's blog is an excellent example of a well-kept author's blog. Pop over there for more details on her debut novel and get to know her a little better.

LOTTERY is due out in August, but can be pre-ordered from right now.


Can't review this one yet, because I haven't the funds to buy it. I do want to get a copy for my mother though! I critted several of the stories for Marva back when she was putting it together. Reading it was like sitting next to the storyteller in a cafe talking. I loved it! Pop over to Marva's blog for more information.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Breaking News!

Gotta run clean house and raise my offspring, but wanted to let you all know this debut novel is on its way to me! Check out the SCD blog for more details.

STAR WARS Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn

First off, I don't know if you all have noticed but we tend to post reviews on Thursdays and Sundays, but also sometimes on Tuesdays. This gives each book at least two days at the top of the blog. All right, that's business out of the way!

Actually, these Star Wars book reviews seem more commentary that review. I'm reading them as a writer, as well as a reader. I've learned two big things about Timothy Zahn this time around.

One, he really knows how to keep a handle on a really big story! DARK FORCE RISING is the second in the Thrawn Trilogy. More often than not, the second book in any trilogy is a lame duck. The EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is one of the huge exceptions. That movie is my favorite Star Wars movie of all time! Dark Force Rising succeeds too. There's Han and Leia doing their thing, then Luke doing his thing, and Lando. And then Han and Lando. And then Leia and Chewie. Whew! How Mr. Zahn keeps it all going and untangled and rivoting is beyond my capabilities at this time.

Two, a male writer can write believable female characters. Remember Linnea Sinclair's review when I was talking about the gender issue in creating characters? In may be sacrilige to say so, but I think Mr. Zahn does a better Princess Leia than the movies did. Mara Jade is great in this one too.

In a nutshell, Thrawn and his accomplices are still plotting away, determined to re-establish the Empire while our heroes are getting a handle on how the New Republic is being undermined. My husband thinks Thrawn is one of the best villains ever, super-intelligent, super-cool. But, Thrawn underestimates Leia big time. She's figured out the Empire's after her unborn Jedi babies and there's no stopping a protective mother, you know. It doesn't seem to even occur to him that she can turn the situation over on him.

I know I'm all about Leia in the Expanded Star Wars universe, but that's just me. The other guys are doing a bang-up job too. Therein lies another great thing about Timothy Zahn as a writer. He brings so many dimensions to a novel that I can read it several times and enjoy something new about it each time. Definitely a worthy example for any aspiring author, I think.

Book Three of this trilogy will be reviewed next Thursday and then it's on to TRUCE AT BAKURA and BALANCE POINT, two Star Wars novels by a female author. She's good too and I wanted to compare her style with Timothy Zahn.

Happy day, all. Tomorrow's Friday!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


My poor mentor-type Blog Buddies. I follow their careers around like a scientist doing a case study. Or an irritating little sister asking pesky little questions, like “If an agent says she’s shopping your manuscript around, does that mean she takes it with her to read in the check-out line at the grocery store?” I’ve learned tons of stuff, a good portion of which I keep to myself for a variety of reasons. Some of the things I’ve learned from Linnea Sinclair are to learn as much as I can as I go along, build on the strengths of each novel when whipping the next one into shape, and leave no stone unturned when promoting the upcoming or new release.

One secret I’ve never kept is that I absolutely loved GAMES OF COMMAND. I was sure it would be my favorite Linnea Sinclair book of all time, but when I first heard the title DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES I knew the race would be tight. Now that I’ve read ZOMBIE, I can say I love them both the same.

DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES hits the bookstores in November, but I was very lucky to get an Advanced Reader’s Copy. It’s set apart from Linnea’s previous books by being the most crackling science fiction story of them all, in my opinion. Jorie emotionally shoved my nose into zombie doo-doo on the very first page. The tension mounted with every page afterwards.

One complaint I hear a lot is that female authors write unreal male characters. Unfortunately, this is often true. I’ve been married a long time. I know and like my real man a lot. Nothing makes me chuck a novel faster than an unbelievable hero. ZOMBIE does NOT have this problem at all. Theo is a tough cop, but he’s no cliché and he’s no silly beefcake. He feels real the first time he steps onto the page. He’s Greek American too and that adds an extra dimension.

The story goes that an alien civilization unintentionally unleashed a population of zombies on the galaxy. Now, they have to clean up the mess and Jorie’s the mission commander for an outbreak on Earth. Lucky for us. Very lucky for Theo. In fact…uh, no, I better not tell you just how lucky Theo gets with Jorie. Anyway, that sounds cheesy. Believe me, there’s nothing cheesy about these two swashbucklers. Their partnership is done very well. During a confrontation with said zombies, Jorie takes Theo back to her spaceship rather than letting him get toasted. After recovering from having his molecules ripped apart and put back together, Theo figures out what’s going on.

This team of alien agents can’t erase memories like Will Smith in MIB. They forcibly relocate people who know too much. Doggone it. However, Theo is able to convince Jorie to include him on the team to hunt down and deal with the zombies. This leads to a rather amusing scene in which he tries to pass her off as his girlfriend from Canada to cover for the language and cultural limitations. Unfortunately for Theo, his buddy knows a few real Canadians, eh? The unusual mission escalates for Jorie when her commanding officer and the ship’s doctor seem to be ignorant of the obvious regarding the zombies’ sudden changes and population increase.

If you loved movies like Men In Black, Terminator, and all those great old horror movies with zombies, mummies, and frankensteins, you’ll love DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES.

Linnea sent me this ARC electronically, but I have to have the print copy now too. I do so much work on the computer. I can’t kick back and relax with a novel this good that way. My husband wants to read it too and his reading time is in between flights at work. We NEED a ‘real’ copy of this novel!

And so do you. Better go pre-order right now.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Lady B Gets ET ARC!

The remarkable Susan Grant has provided us with an Advanced Reader's Copy of her next book, HOW TO LOSE AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL IN 10 DAYS. It hits the bookstores July 26th. Lady Bronco will be reviewing and she's still deciding when to post that. :o)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Sunday's Oldies but Goodies...

Good Morning!
This week's Oldie but Goodie is....

by Stef Ann Holm
Released October 2003
Lanie Prescott is a cop in the small town of Majestic, Colorado, and she wants out. Not out of the force, mind you, but out of Majestic. The Chief of Police is a man’s man, and he feels that women on the force should pull either meter-maid duty or crowd control at the local grocery store.

Lanie accepts a job offer in the nearby town of Ludlow, but the night of her going-away party, a couple of things happen that shake her world. Her departure is delayed because the officer she will be replacing is suing the Ludlow Police Department, and she meets her replacement here in Majestic, Paul Cabrera.

Paul has transferred from Miami, looking for a calmer environment after being in such a high-stress area. He wasn’t looking for any complications in his life, and in his mind, that’s exactly what Lanie Prescott represented.

Of course, fate has an ironic sense of humor. Paul has rented Lanie’s half of the duplex her mother owns, and Lanie will now be staying with her mother, who lives in the other half. Oh, and Lanie’s mother is dating the Chief of Police – a fact that has Lanie seeing red.

If two people were ever meant for each other, it is Paul and Lanie. Paul has left one case open in Miami that haunts him to this day – a missing child case – and Lanie needs help understanding that her worth is not tied to her father – a police officer killed in the line of duty.

Throughout the book, the interaction between Lanie and Paul had me smiling, because the both of them dance around each other, trying to ignore the pull each one of them has on the other. I really liked the fact that once again a heroine does not turn into a simpering, whiny female at the introduction of the hero. Lanie has guts in spades, and they do not go into hiding once Lanie meets Paul.

The heat level in this novel is sensual, but not out of place at all. Ms. Holm has crafted two characters that you will definitely care about by the time you are done reading this novel.

You can visit this author on her website,

Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Secret's Out!

I've got an Advanced Reader's Copy of DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES by Linnea Sinclair and will be reviewing it here on Tuesday (6/5.) Check out today's entry at Star Captains' Daughter blog for more details. Link's to the left 'Kimber An's blog.'