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2017 Reading Challenge

Jill Elizabeth has read 2 books toward her goal of 150 books.

Book Review: The Magnificent Flying Baron Estate by Eric Bower

I am usually quite the fan of middle grade and young adult books. First, because I enjoy fantasy, and so many of them have fantastic elements. But second, and more importantly, because when writing for children, authors cannot fall back on as many tropes in order to generate action/interest. The graphic violence and sexual explicitness that so many adult authors rely on to (they think) make their stories pop or speed up the pacing, aren’t present in books aimed at younger readers. Which means that the authors who write for younger audiences can’t rely on props to aid their flagging stories – they need to write cleaner, stronger stories that have action without gratuitous “help” from the crutches of sex and violence.

I said usually.

Unfortunately, this is an instance where the exception proves the rule. Continue reading Book Review: The Magnificent Flying Baron Estate by Eric Bower

Geronimo’s Gold (Follow-Up to a Previous Book Review Book) Now Available!

Earlier this year, I shared my review of a great history-mystery series find – The Abolition of Evil, the second book in the Matt Hawkins series by the talented Ted Richardson. I’m pleased to announce that the next in the series, Geronimo’s Gold, is now available. Here’s Ted’s description of the new book:

While attending the funeral of a former Wall Street colleague, Matt Hawkins is confronted by the sister of the deceased. Kate is adamant that her brother did not commit suicide, as the police claim—he was murdered. She believes he had stumbled upon a subversive plot to corner the world gold market. But before he could blow the whistle, he was pushed in front of a New York City subway train.

Matt and Kate’s search for the truth leads them back in time to a series of seemingly unrelated historical events—from a vast gold deposit first discovered by Indian warrior Geronimo; to a puzzling cover-up by President Theodore Roosevelt; to a secret society with its roots in one of America’s oldest universities. As they connect the dots from past to present, they are determined to get to the bottom of the gold conspiracy. But to succeed, they must contend with a powerful alliance of adversaries intent on finishing the financial war they started.

Continue reading Geronimo’s Gold (Follow-Up to a Previous Book Review Book) Now Available!

Recycled Top Ten: Time Travel or Why I Like Stories Set Somewhen as Well as Somewhere

I’m just back, and not quite up to speed yet, so you’re getting another recycle… I’d apologize, but it’s a good one, and it bore repeating!

I am obsessed with the idea of time travel. That and dreams/dreaming are the two themes that are guaranteed to pull me in to a story. I don’t know why this is exactly – I don’t know if it is the idea of getting lost, the possibilities of mysterious adventure, or what, but I am absolutely captivated by the idea of ending up somewhen else as well as somewhere else.

I have always loved history – that could be part of it. When I was a child, every family vacation had three essential elements: (1) had to be within a (roughly) eight hour driving radius of home; (2) had to include at least one amusement park visit; and (3) had to include at least one (although preferably more) Place of Historical Interest. Growing up in upstate New York, this meant we ranged from Maine to West Virginia and Michigan to Massachusetts.

My father planned these trips – oh-so-carefully – with AAA Trip-Tiks, not Google Maps, and with guidebooks he requested from Chambers of Commerce. (I still can’t believe he did all that, by the way. I have trouble planning a trip WITH computers, let alone without!) His favorite historical period was always the Revolutionary War (logical given where in the country we lived and what fell within the driving radius), with the Civil War a close second. So from an early age I was immersed in living-history versions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and found them fascinating.
Continue reading Recycled Top Ten: Time Travel or Why I Like Stories Set Somewhen as Well as Somewhere

Short Story Recycling: The Wedding Dress (Part II)

Part two – if you missed the beginning, click here. And if you want to know why we’re recycling, click here. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the second of two parts of this piece of short fiction, written in honor of brides everywhere… I feel your pain, my sisters. (teehee)


The Wedding Dress (Part 2 of 2)

She knew that it was ridiculous to pin all her hopes for future happiness on a dress. She knew that the wedding wasn’t about the dress. She knew that the marriage and her partnership with Richard were what mattered, and that those would be wonderful regardless of what she wore on the day that they were both celebrated. But deep down, in a tiny secret dark place in her soul, Jenna believed that if she couldn’t wear The Dress, that things would somehow mysteriously fall apart. Maybe not right away, but eventually. Because The Dress was an integral part of the whole wedding experience. Everyone knew that.

Jenna sighed.
Continue reading Short Story Recycling: The Wedding Dress (Part II)

Short Story Recycling: The Wedding Dress (Part I)

I’m on vacation – but still thinking of you… Here’s a blast from the past that originally posted in 2011 right around the time of my wedding. I chose it to recycle in honor of my sister’s wedding later this year. I’m pleased to report it is NOT apocryphal, teehee, for either of us!! I am following the original format, and part two will post tomorrow. Enjoy!

Originally posted October 12, 2011
In honor of my recent nuptials, I am going to share a story that I was going to save for future publishing… Here’s part one of two – come back tomorrow for the conclusion. I hope you enjoy it!


The Wedding Dress

“I’m never going to find one, I just know it…” Jenna sighed. “I’m just not the white dress type, let’s be honest. It’s okay, you can admit it, I know it’s true.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, you are perfect and you will find the perfect dress and we will have the perfect day,” Richard replied with a smile. “And do you know why? Because we are perfect together and the universe knows it. And that means everything about our wedding will be perfect. Including the dress.”
Continue reading Short Story Recycling: The Wedding Dress (Part I)



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