Friday, April 30, 2010

What Kimber An Wants

A RENDEZVOUS TO REMEMBER by Geri Krotow
http://enduringromance.blogspot.com/2008/07/rendezvous-to-remember-by-geri-krotow.html
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I'm looking down the aisles and seeing an Endless Parade of Sameness.  I suppose it's inevitable when you read or read about a ton of books.  But, I'm a girl who likes a buffet.
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Can anyone refer me to an excellent World War II Historical Romance novel in the New or Upcoming Releases?  Anyone at all?  (Kimber An listens to crickets chirping.)  (((sigh)))  C'mon, I understand the appeal of Regencies, although I don't share a fondness for it.  But, seriously, there's THOUSANDS of years of human history out there during which human beings fell in love with each other!  It didn't all happen in the Regency Era in England or there'd be none of us right now.  'Kay?
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Extra points for finding me a novel with a blond hero.
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Gimme some Steampunk while you're at it.  Steampunk's the one kind of story I'm not overly familiar with. 
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BONESHAKER by Cherie Priest.  Haven't got it.  Yet.
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And Science Fiction Romance?  I don't even want to talk about it.  (Kimber An checks her calendar to see how many more months until SUREBLOOD by Susan Grant comes out, even though she hates the cover.)  If I see one more SFR with another....nevermind.  Let's just say I"ll puke Tribbles and it won't be pretty.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

BEWITCHED AND BETRAYED reviewed...

...at Debuts and Reviews, Tia's blog.  We didn't get around to it, so I'd better link you.  Lisa Shearin has the best 'voice' in Fantasy today, I think.  http://www.tianevitt.com/2010/04/review-bewitched-and-betrayed/

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Review: Abigail by Jill Eileen Smith

Abigail
by Jill Eileen Smith

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Publisher: Revell (February 2010)
Price: $10.19 (Kindle: $9.99) 

What I Liked:
After reading Jill Eileen Smith's first book in the Wives of King David series (Michal), I was chomping at the bit to read the second book. And now that I've read Abigail, I'm chomping at the bit to read what I hope will be a book about Bathsheba. I appreciated about Abigail that it felt like more of a coherent story than Michal. And I liked Abigail as a character much better than I liked Michal. I think I had a lot more compassion for her because she felt so real to me.

Once again, David was not as great a hero as I expected him to be. I do appreciate that Smith made him round, as a character--that he had both flaws and strengths. But perhaps I'm too westernized in my thinking... I just have a hard time finding a polygamist hero sympathetic. Then again, perhaps that was not the purpose of the book.

And of course, the historical and theological detail in this book was just excellent. Not only does her eye for historicity shine as an author, but she makes the history so real, and so believable. The details of what they would have eaten, how their lives would have been structured, how they would have lived... absolutely fantastic. Definitely the highlight of the book for me.

What I would say, all-in-all, is that if you are a fan of historical fiction, you will probably like this book. If you are a historical romance die-hard fanatic, this might not be a good book for you. It does not have the kind of ending that you will be used to. It does, however, have a satisfying ending. If only I didn't know what happens next, I would be able to just be secure in that ending... but there are more women for King David than just Michal and Abigail. And there is one woman still who will capture his heart in a powerful way.

Book Blurb:
"Her days marked by turmoil and faded dreams, Abigail has resigned herself to a life with a man she does not love. But when circumstances offer her a second chance at happiness with the handsome David, she takes a leap of faith to join his wandering tribe. Still, her struggles are far from over. How can she share his love with the other women he insists on marrying?

Abigail follows the bestselling Michal and continues Jill Eileen Smith's rich story of David's wives." (Book Blurb from the back cover of the book.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

WHEN MEN BECOME GODS by Stephen Singular

It feels funny giving a full review on Non-Fiction.  So, I'll just comment and post the book blurb. 
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I read STOLEN INNOCENCE by Elissa Wall and Lisa Pulitzer a while back and mentioned it here.  The events in WHEN MEN BECOME GODS run almost alongside that one, time-wise, because it was Elissa's testimony which brought down the false prophet, Warren Jeffs, on two counts of accessary to rape.
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Without a doubt, what gets me about this is the fact that these creeps rape children in the name of God.  As a Christian and a lifelong childcare professional, I am outraged by that.  Here in the United States of America children are raped and people use religion to justify it.  Well, I've read the Bible and the United States Constitution and I know there is absolutly no justification in either for raping a child.  In fact, the Bible says that God is love.  It also says that 'Love is patient, love is kind,' that love is not self-seeking and it always protects. (1 Cor. 13)
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By the way, when I say 'child' I'm not just talking about 15 year olds, who are still legally children.  At least one of Warren Jeffs' 'brides' was only twelve years old.  A couple more were only 13.
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As with all religions, I think it's important to point out that not all practioners are monsters, just the ones who use that religion to commit crimes against other human beings.  The others may very well be loving and sincere.  It's also important to note that the Mormon church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints disavowed polygamy over a century ago.  The Mormon church's policy is to expel members known to practice polygamy.
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Book Blurb from Amazon.com:   "As president, prophet, seer, and revelator of the Hilldale, Utah-based Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), Warren Jeffs sought to preserve the perquisites of office and the religious practices he inherited from his father and predecessor in office, Rulon Jeffs. His interstate flight to avoid prosecution on charges related to arranging plural marriages between adult men and underage girls (some of them first cousins) in his congregation threatened to disrupt his plans in a big way. Eventually apprehended and convicted of being an accessory to rape, Jeffs resigned his church offices. Singular takes us into Jeffs’ world and the two-year manhunt for him throughout FLDS territory in southern Utah, in which nineteenth-century attire and inbreeding were the rule. In bringing Jeffs to justice, prosecutors first had to gain access to the isolated, reclusive people of Jeffs’ empire. They were aided in this by a heroic group of women who left plural marriages and sought to liberate other young women from them, and this story is their absorbing story, too."
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Author's Website-   http://stephensingular.com/
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Amazon Link-
http://www.amazon.com/When-Men-Become-Gods-Polygamist/dp/0312564996/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272200333&sr=1-1
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The Polygamy Page at the Salt Lake City Tribune newspaper website-
http://www.sltrib.com/polygamy
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STOLEN INNOCENCE by Elissa Wall and Lisa Pulitzer-   http://enduringromance.blogspot.com/2009/03/stolen-innocence-by-elissa-wall-and.html
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Trailer for the film, SONS OF PERDITION, about the boys who are pressured or kicked out so the old men can have the young girls to themselves-   http://www.tribecafilm.com/virtual/video/?fr_chl=f6317dd113b3e5801c994558ef07ff58479abf9e&fr_story=a3ae830745c2f915fd07f43cb362be79e5714396
Can't have the girls falling in love with boys their own age, you know.  They might imagine a life better than the one they're ordered into and leave.  These young men are also known as 'The Lost Boys.'

Friday, April 23, 2010

Heather at 'Dear Author' Today

Spreadin' the good word about SFR today is my good Blog Buddy from the Galaxy Express-   http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2010/04/23/top-ten-list-from-heather-massey/

Reading to Learn to Write

I recently picked up JOHNNY AND THE BOMB, a Middle Grade Science Fiction (I think) Time Travel novel by Terry Pratchett.  Sorry to say, I didn't like it enough to give you a full review.  But, I think reading half of it (that's as far as I got) was educational enough for me to tell you about it, because I picked up HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by J.K. Rowling right after.  The difference in how appealing each was to me was so radical I knew there must be an educational opportunity in it.
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See, I'd like to write Middle Grade fiction one day, although I doubt I'll ever write anything compatible with New York publishers.  I can't seem to help myself from wanting to do it.  Nasty habit, I know.  I tried underwater basket-weaving instead, but it just didn't work out.  Too cold in Alaska.
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Anyway, so I started reading the 3rd HARRY POTTER novel too.  Thankfully, I have my very own Middle Grader, my brilliant daughter, and I turned to her and said, "I don't like JOHNNY AND THE BOMB.  Can you read it and tell me if you do?  And why or why not?"  I wanted to know if it was just me being a fortysomething mom or if my readerly instincts were on to something.  So, we read.  After a while, she sighed and said, "It's okay."  That's how I'd felt too.  It was just 'okay.' 
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HARRY POTTER on the other hand is 'FREAKIN' AWESOME!'
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"Why?"
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More discussions are forthcoming.  However, at this point, I believe it's all in the *characters.*
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Harry Potter and his friends are living breathing human beings on Page One whom you feel sorry for and desperately want to win as you read along.
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Johnny and his friends...   Well, you know I only like to give positive reviews here, so I'll just say JOHNNY AND THE BOMB is more plot-driven than character-driven.  The characters are okay, but they *feel* as if they were created by filling out one of those character creation forms you can find on writer's websites.  If you're a plot-driven reader, this will work for you.
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I'm a character-driven reader.  If the characters don't grab me, I couldn't care less about the plot, or anything else about the story.
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If you're an aspiring author, you've probably been told to read a lot.  This is why.  It also helps to talk to representatives of your target audience, I believe.
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Here's a review of JOHNNY AND THE BOMB by someone else-     http://www.kidsreads.com/reviews/0060541911.asp

I originally picked it up because I love Time Travel stories and this one's set during the Battle of Britain, one of my favorite time periods.  However, there was not a single Spitfire in any of the pages I read. 

Hello?  This is a book for boys, primarily, and there were no Spitfires?   That's just...just crazy.  My GIRLS dream about Spitfires!  Spitfires are only the coolest airplanes ever!  How can you not include Spitfires in a story set during the Battle of Britain?  That should be considered sacrilege.  Okay, okay, I'll stop now.
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All due respect to Mr. Pratchett, but it just didn't work for me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: Rebels and Lovers by Linnea Sinclair

Rebels and Lovers
by Linnea Sinclair

Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Bantam (March 2010)
Price: $7.99 (Kindle: $6.39) 

What I Liked:
The better question is what I didn't like. Because the answer to that question is nothing. It was one of those can't-put-it-down-ers. This is by far one of the best books I have read in a long time. Granted, I haven't read a lot of science fiction, and that was part of what I enjoyed the most, but it was just fantastic. The writing is lyrical without being purple prosey, the plotting is masterful, and the romance is tense and intense. The hero... wow, I don't even know where to begin. Not only do I love the hot nerds to begin with, but I have a thing for guys who like to dance. A serious thing. And this hero has got it all. He's like the perfect Gamma hero. He's trying to discover his emotions, he's as open as he can be, but he's also protective and fiery. And he can do things with computers that you don't even want to know about. Plus, he's got some of the best lines I've heard in a romance novel in a long, long time.

It's obvious how much Linnea Sinclair has built the world up that she writes in, because it just flows seamlessly, and draws you in. The heroine is the first one I've read in a long time that I didn't want to plant somewhere under a rosebush for the majority of the book. I loved her tough character, and even the way she hardened herself because of her past. She was fiesty (without being cartoonish) and vulnerable (without being doormatish). Loved her. I am totally in love with this world, and I'm going back to read the previous three books as soon as I can. Loved it, loved it. I highly recommend you read this book immediately if you haven't yet. It's gonna be a classic, I have a feeling.

Book Blurb:
It’s been two years since Devin Guthrie last saw Captain Makaiden Griggs. But time has done little to dampen his ardor for the beautiful take-charge pilot who used to fly yachts for his wealthy family. While Devin’s soul still burns for Kaidee, she isn’t the kind of woman a Guthrie is allowed to marry—especially in a time of intergalactic upheaval, with the family’s political position made precarious by Devin’s brother Philip, now in open revolt against the Empire. And when Devin’s nineteen-year-old nephew, Trip, inexplicably goes missing after his bodyguard is murdered, this most dutiful of Guthrie sons finds every ounce of family loyalty put to the test.

Only by joining forces with Kaidee can Devin complete the mission to bring Trip back alive. And only by breaking every rule can these two renegades redeem the promise of a passion they were never permitted to explore. At risk? A political empire, a personal fortune, and both their hearts and lives. From Amazon.com.

(P.S. I loved that she included a playlist for her novel at the beginning... I definitely used it, at least the songs I had already. I also highly recommend listening to the Torchwood Soundtrack with this book if you have it. It provided excellent background music to Devin & Makaiden's story.)

Good Books I Want to Tell You About

Sometimes, I run across books in the Blogosphere and Real Life which I may or may not eventually review. My fellow reviewers may pick them up or not. But, I don't want you to miss out just because we're so busy, so I'll post cover art and blurb.
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Click on this link to get to them-
http://enduringromance.blogspot.com/search/label/Good%20Books%20I%20Want%20to%20Tell%20You%20About

Reviewer: Mfitz

She's our regular Science Fiction girl.  She also likes some Science Fiction Romance.  Pop over to   http://maryfitz.typepad.com/my_weblog/  eMail her at

m fitzATfuseDOTnet

She's kinda busy these days, but will post on 4th Thursdays when she can.

TANGLED IN TIME by Pauline Baird Jones

Also plucked from Heather's blog is this cool Steampunk Romance which is due out December, I think.
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Blurb:
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Colonel Carey (from The Key and Girl Gone Nova) takes a test "flight" through the Garradian time-space portal, but an unexpected impact lands him somewhere and some when. As he attempts to get to Area 51, he crosses paths with Miss Olivia Carstairs, who could be Mary Poppins' twin sister. Or maybe her cousin. Olivia's got a transmogrification machine powered by steam and something more, and a mouth he'd like to kiss like it was his job. Can he get them both to safety before the buzzard eats them or she shoots him with her derringer?
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Author's website:   http://www.paulinebjones.com/index.htm
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The Galaxy Express:  http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net/

IN ENEMY HANDS by Ks Augustin

Science Fiction Romance sure is popular this week.  My Blog Buddy Heather over at the Galaxy Express just got this cover exclusive for an SFR novel which will help launch Harlequin's new digital only press, Carina Press, in June. 
http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net/2010/04/carina-press-cover-exclusive-in-enemy.html
And say, dang, that's nice!  It actually looks like there's a Science Fiction Romance story inside!  How wierd is that?  Here's the author's website to learn more-   http://www.ksaugustin.com/
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Book Blurb:
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The Republic had taken everything from Moon—her research partner, her privacy, her illusions. They thought they had her under control. They were wrong.
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Srin Flerovs, Moon’s new research partner, is a chemically enhanced maths genius whose memory is erased every two days. While he and Moon work on a method of bringing dead stars back to life, attraction between them flares, together with the realisation that they are nothing more than pawns in a much larger game.
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When Moon discovers the lethal applications her research can be put to, she knows she must rescue Srin and escape the clutches of the Republic. But there are too many walls around them, too many eyes watching. They want to run, but they’re trapped on a military spaceship in the depths of space, and time is running out….

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Linnea's Popular Today!

Free book giveaway too.
http://sfrcontests.blogspot.com/2010/04/linnea-sinclair-interview.html

Author Interview: LINNEA SINCLAIR

Good morning, Blog Buds!  I recently shot off some questions to Linnea Sinclair through cyberspace and she shot the answers right back.  I tell you, that girl is on top of everything.  It's exhausting trying to keep up.  Linnea's latest book, REBELS AND LOVERS, was out in March.  If you can't find it on the shelf, you can order it online.  Here's the interview-
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K: The obvious question is 'What inspired this story?'

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Linnea:   Honestly? My contract with Bantam Dell. This was “unnamed fourth book in the Dock Five/Gabriel’s Ghost storyline” according to the contract. My agent and I pitched HOPE’S FOLLY and when the contract came back, it had this “unnamed” thing as well.
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What inspired me to turn Unnamed Book into REBELS AND LOVERS was a desire not to do another military-based story (though I dearly love them) but to delve into Philip Guthrie’s family (since they were so often referenced in the other books). I wanted to do an “accidental hero” much like Gillie was an “accidental goddess” in the book by the same name (minus the time travel). I wanted an unlikely hero, even an unsuitable hero. I wanted a really decent and loyal and kind guy who suddenly found himself up to his proverbial arse in alligators…when his initial objective was simply to drain the swamp. Devin was that guy, that hero.
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K:   Yum!  I love accidental heroes.
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Linnea:   I also wanted a heroine who had baggage—lots of it. Kaidee was that heroine. She was also, like Devin, basically a nice person who really had no desire to be anyone’s heroine. She had enough problems.
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There’s a Marianne Williamson quote at the start of the book. That rather says it all.
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K:   Is this the last in the Dock Five series?
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Linnea:   I hope not. I have nothing contracted but I’m trying to put together a proposal for at least one more book.
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K:   What's next? Besides the Songs of Love and Death anthology? What's the next novel coming from Linnea Sinclair?
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Linnea:   “Courting Trouble” is the short in SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH, yes, and sharing pages with the likes of Mary Jo Putney, Diana Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, Jo Beverly, Tanith Lee…hell, being edited by Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin is beyond my wildest authorly dreams.
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K:   Tanith Lee!  I loved her PIRATICA stories.
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Linnea:   I don’t have a next novel yet. See answer above. I’m out of contract. Working on a couple of proposals.
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K:   Are you taking requests? My vote's for a DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES sequel.
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Linnea:   ZOMBIE has its own special stuff coming up but I can’t say more than that. Not right now. When I can say more, I will.
K:   Squeeeee!
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Linnea:   I do have the Dock Five books coming out in audio books from Audible. I don’t know when exactly. This week I’ve been doing pronunciation guides for the narrators for the books. I can tell you that Dina Pearlman is the narrator for GABRIEL’S GHOST and SHADES OF DARK, Christian Rummel is HOPE’S FOLLY and MacLeod Andrews is REBELS AND LOVERS.
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K:   I noticed you joined the SFR Brigade. So did I. What do you see coming for Science Fiction Romance? What can Skiffy Rommers do to help? Especially if they're seeking publication?
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Linnea:   Wow, big questions.
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K:   I like big questions.  It's a good way to get big answers.
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Linnea:   Got a few weeks? Yep, am in the ranks of the SFR Brigade. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, which means blogs and sites and such can squeak loudly. Which is, yes, some of what Skiffy Rommers can do to keep the genre active. It has to be an overall effort: readers, booksellers, librarians, and authors. Star Trek is legendary because it was—many times—saved by its fans. SFR has the same potential.
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SFR Brigade link-   http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.com/
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What do I see coming down the pike in SFR? Cheezwhiz, I really have no idea. I’ll know more after the ginormous Romantic Times convention end of April but right now, I’m just managing to tread water with my own stuff. I’ll be glad to report back after RT, get the scoop of who’s doing what. But honestly, you’ll likely hear before I will. What I SUSPECT—and I may be totally wrong—is a seduction between urban fantasy and SFR, with a heavy dose of steampunk. I think those three genres have a lot in common relative to theme and feel and tone. But that’s pure guessing on my part.
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K:   A seduction of Urban Fantasy and SFR?  Like 'near future Science Fiction Romance?  I've thought of that.  Steampunk, yes!
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Linnea:   What writers who seek publication in the SFR genre can do is, honestly, know what you’re writing. I’ve unfortunately had a few conversations with writers (because I teach workshops nationally) who’ve expressed interest in writing SFR. Yet when I ask them who their fave SFR authors are, I get a blank stare, and “Oh, I’ve never read the books. But I saw one of the Star Trek movies.” Or they stayed in a Holiday Inn Express… or something like that. And I have to forcibly hold myself back from slamming my head against the nearest wall.
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I then ask, “But do you read science fiction?” and eight out of ten grimace and say, “Ew, that tech-y stuff?”
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At which point I make a beeline for the bar… where I blessedly meet a few writers who, yes, saw a Star Trek movie. But they also have read the entire Tanya Huff VALOR series or the Elizabeth Moon VATTA series as well as Susan Grant or Robin D Owens, know who Steve Miller and Sharon Lee are, have read diversely from Catherine Asaro to Isabo Kelly to S.L. Viehl to Jess Granger and all in between. I’m not saying they have to be Linnea Sinclair fans. I’m saying they need to know that I write the genre and the basics of what I write—and the same for a goodly number of authors listed on the left side panel of The Galaxy Express blog. It’s not—again—because we want slavish fans. It’s so these writers don’t reinvent the wheel, and, as well, understand the reader expectations and the genre tropes.
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K:   Next time, also tell them to start a book review blog!
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Linnea:   I would love nothing more than to have half a dozen SFR superstars break into print in the next year or so. Do I view other writers as competition? Hell, no, and it’s not because I would insanely view myself as better (I don’t and I’m not). It’s because I view the genre as awesome, and I know from experience that readers can read ‘em faster than we can write ‘em. If we can keep the pipeline filled with a quality product, then we can start a surge of desire for these kinds of books. Feed the addiction.
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K:   Preach it, Sister!   You create my favorite SFR heroes. Where do you get the inspiration for them?
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Linnea:   Well, gosh golly gee. They’re my favorite too. I don’t have one source of inspiration for my male protagonists, though several do have some of my husband’s characteristics. I draw from all sorts of sources, historical and contemporary. But by the time I start writing them, they’re very real to me, and very individual. That’s not to say they might not share some common characteristics. My husband and my brother-in-law share some common characteristics. But my male protagonists are all unique in “feel” as I write them.
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K:   Anything else you'd like us to know about REBELS AND LOVERS?
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Linnea:   I think it’s a story that shows what people are capable of when they let go of preconceived notions—either ones they’ve had of themselves or ones others have placed upon them. All my books have messages, though I rarely bring that fact up because I’m more interested in that people read them for fun. But there is a message there, and it’s not only Kaidee and Devin who grow.
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That’s one of the reasons, I think, that some romance readers aren’t one-hundred per cent satisfied with Linnea Sinclair SFR. They’re looking (so I’ve read) for the couple who meet on page 5, kiss on page 10, and are in bed with wild passionate abandon on page 12. My characters have issues and messages to deal with before I’m comfortable with them getting to that point, and that’s just the way I write my books and my characters. I definitely write to an HEA—I crave the HEA. But I don’t feel I can convincingly write instant-lust and instant-sexual gratification/perfection because it feels shallow to me. I’m not saying others who write that write shallow books. I’m saying I’m not able to write that convincingly. I’m saying there are other issues with my characters that are equally as important as their sex lives, and hence, that’s the path my books follow.
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K:   Those readers don't realize the glorious future they deny themselves!
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Linnea:   To me, SFR is a blending of both romance requirements and tropes and SF requirements and tropes. It’s a balance, and that’s how I present the balance in my stories.
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K:   What about SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH?
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Linnea:   That was a huge surprise—even to be asked to submit, more so to have my story accepted. I mean, I’ve been reading Gardner Dozois anthologies for years (I’m looking at one of his “Year’s Best Science Fiction” on my bookshelf as I type this). I’ve held Gardner Dozois anthologies in my hands and dreamed of the day I’d have a story included in one—never really feeling that dream would come true. If there are two highlights to my career to date, one is winning the RITA® award and the other is being in a Dozois anthology. And to be edited my George R.R. Martin as well—THE George R. R. Martin. A true fangirl squee moment for me.
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“Courting Trouble” is very much in the flavor of FINDERS KEEPERS—space opera adventure with old friends, unrequited love, a race against time through a enemy space station, and a cat-like sentient named Quintrek James of Daq’kyree. The whole story was prompted by a sign hanging over my desk: Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today. (Mark Twain) Pretty much everything happens in “Courting Trouble” and I’m a bit concerned—okay, I’m freaking nervous—considering the lineup of other authors in the project, and considering that the project was re-titled SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH after I’d already written my story (it was originally presented to me as Tales of Star-Crossed Love), that my story is going to be perceived by readers as too light in tone. If it happens, it happens. But if you liked FINDERS, you’ll have great fun with “Courting Trouble.” It’ll be out in hardcover November 16, 2010.
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K:   Hardcover, oooooh...
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K:   How many SFR authors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
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Linnea:   In zero-g or shipboard gravity?
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K:   Zero-G!   If Tribbles evolved, what would they become?
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Linnea:   Cats.
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K:   Well, duh.  Silly me.
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http://www.linneasinclair.com/index.html

Win the STAR Trilogy

Pop over to Susan Grant's site-   http://www.susangrant.com/contest.htm
to win her STAR trilogy with the original covers, which I, of course, think are a lot better than the new ones.  The original cover of THE STAR KING, for example, actually gives the half-naked guy on the front some personality.  Those upper arm bracelets make him look like Ramses, I swear. 
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Definitely a king in need of a queen.
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This is the new cover.  Now, be honest.  Let's say you don't like Contemporary Erotica, which book would you pick off the shelf?  If you didn't already know Susan was a top-notch author and her STAR trilogy was the best?  I already own the originals, of course.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Unrequested ARCs

Please do not send them.  eMail us first. 
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Our reviews are positive because we *only review books we like* or love.  If you send us an ARC we did not request, you'll likely waste your money in doing so.  Odds are, we won't like it and it won't get reviewed.  Save your time and money and *ask first.*  Thank you.
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  kimberannebulaATyahooDOTcom

Saturday Speed-Reads

Good morning, Blog Buds.
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This week I read HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by some obscure author named, um, uh, what was her name again?  Oh, yeah.  J.K. Rowling.  Yes, I watched the movie first!

No need to review this one since it went through the bestselling stratosphere, and with good reason.  Like I've said before, Rowling nails all the emotional needs of a the average Middle Grade reader, and then some.  This series is right up there with CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by C.S. Lewis, I swear.  It's a classic and while the author's still alive.  How amazing is that?  The second book is just as good as the first book.  In fact, my daughter says it's better.  How rare is that?  As  a book reviewer, I can tell you I've only read one second in a book series which successfully bridged to the next book in the past THREE years, and it still was not as good as the first one.  It's incredibly difficult to do, especially if you're only writing a sequel because the first one did well and your editor and/or agent told you it would be financially good idea.  I'm trying very hard to learn from Rowling's stellar example in this respect, because I love series.  I get attached to characters and I don't want to let go.
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Oh, yes, the battle over the HARRY POTTER books in our house rages on.  You may remember I said Draco Malfoy was cuter than Harry.

And my daughter informed me, on no uncertain terms, that this is absolutely FORBIDDEN.  Apparently, the Freedom of Speech doesn't apply to readers of the wizarding world.  Anyway, she banished me from every reading another HARRY POTTER book again, but I snagged THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS from a second hand store while she was at school!  Mwa-ha-ha!  As for the other books, we're currently in negotiations.  She's considering letting me borrow THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, if I let her use by credit at the used book store to buy more books for herself.  Somehow, this doesn't exactly seem fair.  I could use that credit to buy my own copy.  Hmmm...
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Anyway...
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I also picked up WHITE HOUSE NANNIES by Barbara Kline. 
I used to be a nanny, you know, so this one kept me up half the night.  It swings from hilarious to poignant and made me look forward to the day when my own children are old enough that I can nanny again.
http://www.amazon.com/White-House-Nannies-Barbara-Kline/dp/1585424978/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271524104&sr=1-1
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In other news, I think I'm done with renovating this blog.  It's business as usual, starting tomorrow with an interview with Science Fiction Romance author, Linnea Sinclair.  Her latest novel, REBELS AND LOVERS, was out in March.

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Reviewer: Nayuleska

Please welcome our newest reviewer from the glorious United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (signal the band, "God Save the Queen.")
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Nayuleska!
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eMail -    nayuAThotmailDOTcoDOTuk
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Blog-   http://nayusreadingcorner.blogspot.com/
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Fret not.  If you're an American author, she will accept an electronic ARC, though she prefers Print.
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She'll review on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month.
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Here's what she's looking for in her own words-
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I'd love to review more fantasy, especially urban fantasy. Particularly fond of books like Maria V Snyder's Study series.    http://www.mariavsnyder.com/books.php
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Paranormal Romance - possibly the milder ones (if they exist!) but I do enjoy them.
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YA especially paranormal, steampunk, fantasy, dystopian, (vampires and faeries are welcoem)
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Thrillers along the lines of Matthew Reilly's Ice Station
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I'm particularly keen on books with a strong female protag, lots of action and adventure (like you I loved Amazon Ink). Humour is always welcome.
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Thanks, Nayuleska!  And welcome aboard.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Reviewers Needed

If you love Fantasy, Mystery or Romantic Suspense, and/or books which would typically be segregated to the African American or other non-Caucasion shelf in your local bookstore, we'd love to have you on board here.
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My policy here is to only review books we like or love.  No Snark.  No Horror or Erotica or Erotic Romance.
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I believe in helping readers with similar interests find the books they'll love.
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Especially if you're an aspiring author, book reviewing can be a major learning curve.
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Once you're known, you'll likely receive all the free Advanced Reviewers Copies you can handle.
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Contact me if you're interested.   kimberannebulaATyahooDOTcom

Reviewer: Kimber An

Moderating and reviewing here at Enduring Romance is ME, Kimber An.  Blame it on Tendonitis, but I can only accept Print ARCs. 
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Right now, I'm looking for Historical Romance, along the lines of Michelle Willingham and Lynna Banning.  Regular Historicals are welcome too.  I love Michelle Moran's books.  My favorite time periods are Ancient History and 1900's through the end of World War II.  If the characters 'feel' too contemporary, I won't go for it.  I majored in History, you know.  No Regencies.  Nothing hotter than 'Sensual,' please.
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Science Fiction for Middle Grade and Young Adult are welcome.  Stories must be Character Driven.  Girl heroes preferred.
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Science Fiction Romance.    No Kick-Butt Heroines, unless they're also mommies or the author is Linnea Sinclair or Susan Grant.  No former or current Sex Slave or Servent or Harem stories.  I strongly prefer Fun & Adventure over Dark & Gritty.  Sweet, Mildly Sensual, or Sensual Heat Levels Only.
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Time Travel Stories of any kind.
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General Fiction, like LOTTERY by Patricia Wood, or non-typical Women's Fiction, like MAN OF THE HOUSE, are welcome.
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Non-Fiction haveing to do with Childcare, Quick and Nutritious Cooking, and Household Management may interest me.
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Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy along the style of AMAZON INK by Lori Devoti.  No blood-sucking dead guys, unless they're alien in origin, and absolutely no were-hamsters, or were-anything.  I do like Shapeshifters though and anything which puts a scientific spin on mythology.
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Steampunk
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If your novel made my Top Ten List for 2009, odds are good I'll want to review your next book.
http://enduringromance.blogspot.com/2009/12/kimber-ans-top-ten-favorite-books-for.html
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I'm going to be very selective, because I can only review once a month.
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Thank you!
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My email is   kimberannebulaATyahooDOTcom

Reviewer: Rebecca Lynn

Still on board Enduring Romance is Rebecca Lynn.  She prefers electronic ARCs, but also takes Print.  Right now, she's looking to review Historicals and Inspirationals, but she'd also like Steampunk and Foodie Romances.  She reviews on Tuesdays.
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Rebecca's Blog-
http://newkidonthewritersblock.blogspot.com/
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Rebecca's eMail-
rlcameronATyahooDOTcom

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Review: Gold in the Fire by Margaret Daley

Gold in the Fire
by Margaret Daley

Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance
Publisher: Harlequin/Steeple Hill
Price: $5.20 (together with Light in the Storm)

What I Liked:
Every time I read a romance novel about a firefighter, I'm increasingly impressed with myself (I had a bad experience...). And I have to say that both the ones I've reviewed here have made my foray back into the world of firefighters and romance a pleasant experience. First, Dee Henderson, then Margaret Daley. I was impressed with how much I enjoyed this book. I found Joshua (the hero) to be both believably good at his job and believably interesting as a hero. I found Darcy (the heroine) to be worthy of his attentions, and someone that I would want to be friends with. (Those are sort of my criteria for whether or not a heroine is worth reading.) Joshua was decidedly unsexualized, which I always find to be sort of a turn-off when I'm reading romance novels, because I have a hard time believing that men, being as visual as they are, no matter what their faith background, will not have some kind of struggle with sexual feelings (especially at the age Joshua was in the book). Yet, still, he managed to be someone that I believed as real, and someone that I would want to spend time with. Those are both good things. The sort of suspenseful element was interesting and well-done. All-in-all, a well-done inspirational romance novel. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in this volume.

Book Blurb:
On the job firefighter Joshua Markham has no problem taking risks, leaving his fate in God's hands. But opening his heart to young widow Darcy O'Brien requires a far greater leap of faith.

My Post at SFR Brigade

http://sfrcontests.blogspot.com/2010/04/scruffy-lookin-nerf-herders.html

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blog Renovations Underway

I'll probably have them all sorted out by next weekend.

I'm Now a Contributor to the SFR Brigade

It's a new group blog formed by and for authors, aspiring and already published, of Science Fiction Romance.  There's a lot of us!  Over seventy, I think.  I'm on Tuesdays.  Pop over and check it out!
http://sfrcontests.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 9, 2010

Harry Potter and Blond Baddies

I've been going through the HARRY POTTER series with my daughter 'cause, you know, me and trends just don't get along, so I never read them when they first came out.  We watched HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS this week and I learned, rather painfully, that it is sacrilege to say Draco Malfoy is cuter than Harry.
My daughter summarily revoked my Harry Potter movie viewing privilages and condemned me to a miserable eternity of never finishing the books.  She says I have a thing for blond baddies and I seriously need to get over it. 
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I protest!  I also like blond good guys, like Legoles from THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
Anyway, I'm sure we'll resolve our differences in time for the teen years and her TWILIGHT phase, if she goes through one.  Might not.  She kinda reads all over the place, like me. 
But, if she does, then she'll see that I like blond heroes just as much.
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She prefers blonds overall too. (That's my girl!) But, the battle rages on.
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"Luke Skywalker!"
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"Anakin!"
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"Luke Skywalker!"
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"Anakin!"
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P.S. Don't worry.  I will read the rest of the Harry Potter books.  I have my little ways of getting the books I wants, my preciousssss.

Blogging Book Reviewers and Readers

I think I've ranted about what a wonderful Free/Extremely Cheap publicity opportunity blogging book reviewers provide for authors.  Here's a wonderful post on what a book review means to a reader-
http://katie-lovett.com/2010/04/07/book-reviewers-are-a-readers-friend/

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Kimber An's Movies This Week

THE MUMMY RETURNS
Love this movies, but this time 'round it just made me want to watch the first MUMMY movie.  Love the girl fighting.  See them on the bottom of the poster?  Very cool.  Great married romance and believable kid trouble too.  And let's face reality here, Brandon Frasure is hot, especially for a brown-haired guy.
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STAR WARS THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

I know I said I was currently sick of the STAR WARS movies because my son is currently obsessed with them, but my eldest daughter said Anakin and Padme's kiss in ATTACK OF THE CLONES was the best Star Wars kiss ever and she needed to be set straight.  It worked.  Interestingly enough, she thinks Luke Skywalker is the hottest Star Wars guy ever and I think Anakin is.  What's with that?
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JONAH A Veggie Tales Movies

This one's based on the Biblical tale about the prophet Jonah.  God wanted him to deliver a message of mercy to his enemies, but Jonah wanted God to blow them off the map instead.  Sure, it's easy to be nice to people who are nice to you, but what about being nice to people who slap you with fishes?  Much harder.  'Belly of the Whale' is also a step in storytelling in which the protagonists realize just how much crap they've gotten themselves into.  Here's the title song-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhYdVj7A_FU
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My tendonitis is improving, but I do think I'll need to refurbish Enduring Romance once I get my act back together.  The key to survival is the ability to adapt, yanno.

Friday, April 2, 2010

TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR by Michelle Willingham

This isn't a full review.  I'm sick.  I'm cranky.  I have tendonitis.  But, I just had to tell you about this one.  I didn't want to read it, but it wouldn't let me put it down.  Don't let the typical Harlequin title fool you.  It's the heroine who needs taming.  And, besides, if a girl falls in love with a wild man, why would she want to tame him?  She wouldn't like him anymore if she did!  While I'm complaining, the cover art is beautiful, but inaccurate.  The hero is BLOND.  Some time ago Harlequin concluded all women prefer brown-haired men and so now you'll have a hard time finding anything else on their covers, regardless.  If Harlequin is right, then how in tarnation do little blond babies get made?  Hmmm? 
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Relax, guys.  Harlequin doesn't know everything about women.
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Here's an actual review-
And, I believe, this one's up for the RITA award too.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How to Think Like a Homeschool Mom


First of all, let go of all the political crap you've probably heard about homeschooling.  Sure, there are some fanatical idiots out there who have no business being around children at all who claim to be homeschooling.  However, most homeschoolers love their children and love teaching, and their children love learning.  .
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Homeschoolers get into Harvard, dude. 
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Get over it.  Done?  Okay.
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You don't need to be a homeschool mom to use some of our tricks when working with or interacting with children or young people.  The most important thing to know is how to
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Facilitate The Teachable Moment.
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Example:   STAR WARS.
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My son is a beginning reader.  I won't tell you how old he is, but he's not in Kindergarten yet.  His sisters learned to read at age 2 and 4, respectively.  I believe in teaching children when they're ready to learn and not when a curriculum tells me it's time.  Anyway, he recently got hooked, I mean, obsessed with STAR WARS, especially 'lightsaberin''  I immediately thought, "Oh!  I must run to the bookstore and buy the STAR WARS DK Readers!"  He packs them everywhere.  More have been ordered.
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Today, we are sick, so he's watching STAR WARS ATTACK OF THE CLONES.  He sees Anakin make a pear float through the air over the dinner table to Padme.  He asks how Anakin is able to do this.  I launch into a demonstration, albeit slowly because I am sick, about magnets and forces and such.  Now, he's running around the house with all the magnets seeing what they'll stick to.
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This is not to brag.  These are just examples.
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The fact is not all families are cut out for homeschooling.  It's a lifestyle very different from most.  It almost always requires one parent to stay home, which many families cannot afford.  Also, there is not always community support.  (Here in Alaska, tons of families homeschool and so we receive a lot of support.)  Plus, there is only one teacher - me.  And I totally stink at math.  I mean, I can't count to five with my mittens on.  Some families homeschool all the way through high school, but we can't because I stink at math.  Although, a lot of teens CAN homeschool themselves with the right materials.  I don't know if my children can or will want to yet, of course.
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So, if you work with children or young people, remember to Facilitate the Teachable Moment.  Don't mess it up by putting it right in their face.  That's boring and it insults their intelligence.  They'll tune you out right off the bat.  Just sit back, shut your mouth, and watch the lights turn on in their eyes. 
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I love that light.
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Facilitate.  That's the word.  Got it?
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Okay, now I must go collapse on the sofa again and drink lots of chamomile tea.
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Here's a link to a review of the above DK reader-
http://www.booksforkids-reviews.com/2010/01/star-wars-luke-skywalkers-amazing-story.html